Sports and athletic activities are important for youth health and development, however, there is an inherent risk for injury in participation. Sports-related eye injuries pose a significant burden on both children and the health system, but they can be largely avoided with the use of proper protective eyewear. Few policy-level interventions of protective eyewear in youth sports and the effects have been empirically tested. I conducted a rapid review of the literature collected from PubMed and Scopus, and from the references of selected articles. I collected 128 articles which I then screened by title and abstract for inclusion and exclusion criteria. Following full-text reviews of remaining articles, four were retained for the final review. Results show a reduction in the number and rate of eye injuries in youth athletes following protective eyewear mandates. Secondary findings included slight decreases in head/face injuries, decreases in the severity of eye injuries, and very minor increases in concussive injuries all following the implementation of a protective eyewear mandate. These results highlight the positive effect that mandatory protective eyewear has on reducing the rates and numbers of eye injuries in youth athletes. The slight increase in concussive injuries may be related to the trend of increased concussion rates across youth sports regardless of mandatory protective eyewear. Eye injuries in youth sports can be largely prevented with proper protective eyewear. The implementation of policy for mandatory protective eyewear is beneficial in reducing eye injuries without significant impacts on other potential head and face injuries.
Song, Rachel; Frasso, PhD, CPH, Rosemary; and Leader, DrPH, MPH, Amy, "Effect and Impact of Mandatory Protective Eyewear in Youth Sports" (2020). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 352.