Protective eyewear helps reduce field hockey injuries: study

Providence, RI – Head, eye and facial injuries are less prevalent among high school field hockey players who wear protective eyewear, according to a study from several institutions.

Researchers from Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Fairfax (VA) County Public Schools and Boston Children’s Hospital examined injuries among players 14-18 years old during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. A national mandate requiring high school field hockey players to wear protective eyewear went into effect during the 2011-12 season.

Players from states not mandating eyewear were more than 5 times more likely to have an eye injury, and 32 percent of those injuries required more than 10 days to return to activity, compared with 17 percent for kids in states with a mandate, the study abstract stated.

Concussion rates were similar for athletes in states with and without eyewear mandates. Researchers noted wearing protective eyewear was not associated with more player-to-player contact injuries, showing such rules do not cause players to be more aggressive because they feel “safer.”

The study was published online Nov. 12 in the journal Pediatrics.

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