ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The Vision Council related that the U.S. House of Representatives has adopted Resolution H.Res.364 recognizing the importance of healthy vision and encouraging all Americans to play sports with the proper protective eyewear. Sponsored by Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC), the resolution was introduced on May 5, 2023, and referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce. Eye injuries can lead to long-term vision impairment and can affect learning, work and relationships. Sports Eyewear Safety Month will spread awareness about sports-related injuries and equip individuals with resources to ensure safe sports and recreation activities.

The Vision Council noted about 30,000 sports-related eye injuries, serious enough to require a visit to the emergency room, occur each year in the U.S., and the majority happen to those under the age of 18. Almost all (more than 90 percent) sports- and recreation-related eye injuries can be prevented by using appropriate eye and facial protection.

Other facts about sports-related eye injuries include:

  • Sports and recreation activities are associated with approximately one-fourth of all pediatric eye injuries.

  • Everyday dresswear eyeglasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses do not offer adequate protection to guard against potential sports-related eye injuries, and wearing protective sports eyewear, such as safety goggles and special protective eyewear designed for specific sports, is as important as putting on other protective gear.

  • Sports-related eye injuries can be mitigated by use of technology in protective eyewear for specific sports when appropriate.
Individuals who participate in sports, especially school-aged athletes, should ensure their protective eyewear products have undergone the proper testing by an accredited laboratory and meets the current American Society for Testing and Materials safety standard for the selected sport.

Before purchasing prescription protective eyewear, one should consult with an eyecare professional to ensure their prescription is up to date.

The text of the full resolution is posted here.

April has previously been designated as Sports Eye Safety Month by Prevent Blindness and by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.