Children’s Sports Related Eye Injuries Bill Becomes Law
The New Jersey Society of Optometric Physicians (NJSOP) is pleased to announce the passage of Bill A1825/S2093 which has been signed into law by Governor Chris Christie.
Sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-37), A1825/S2093 requires the Department of Education to develop an educational fact sheet concerning sports-related eye injuries for distribution to parents.
The bill was first introduced on June 21, 2012 and necessitates that the Department of Education include the following as part of the fact sheet:
- A list of the most common sports-related eye injuries and the recognition of the symptoms of those injuries;
- A recommendation that children seek treatment and advice from a licensed health care professional regarding the appropriate amount of time to delay the return to sports competition or practice after sustaining eye injury;
- A recommendation that all children participating in school sports or recreational sports wear protective eyewear;
- Information concerning the purchase of appropriate protective eyewear;
- Any other information the commissioner deems appropriate.
Each school district and nonpublic school will be responsible for distributing the fact sheet annually to the parents or guardians of the students.
Facts about sports related eye injuries in school-aged children:
- Eye injuries are the leading cause of preventable blindness and visual impairment in children, and most injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports related;
- Every 16 minutes a child incurs a sports-related eye injury severe enough to require a visit to the emergency room;
- According to Prevent Blindness America, 90% of all eye injuries can be avoided by the use of appropriate eye protection;
- Of the nearly 28,000 sports-related eye injuries treated in 2010, more than one third were children ages 14 and younger.
- For all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in basketball, water sports and baseball/softball.
With this knowledge, the NJSOP felt strongly that it was necessary to educate parents and students about what they could do to protect themselves against visual impairment. View a copy of the bill here!
For more information on protecting vision while playing sports check out these articles: