Make Sure Your Kids are Protected by Wearing the Correct Prescription Sports Glasses for Youths By Phillips Safety Research LLC

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We explain the ANSI Regulations of Sport Eyewear and Review the Top Brands of prescription sports glasses for youths to help you choose the correct pair of prescription sport glasses for your kid.

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Study after study has shown the vast benefits of enrolling your child in a sport. The camaraderie, the development of teamwork skills, and the lesson that working as hard as you can leads to success, even if you don’t win, are all incredibly grounding understandings to have as a child. Parents everywhere enroll their kids in sports to keep them active, healthy, and give them these life lessons in an environment that they share with their peers. But of course, they also want to keep their kids safe, and that’s where youth prescription sports glasses come in.

It might seem like an unnecessary step but giving your prescription sports glasses to wear is an easy way to protect them from possible major injuries. Fortunately, prescription sports glasses have evolved to a point where they’re no longer geeky or a reason to have fun poked at you on the playground. If you’re about to enroll your kid in a sport or even if they’re already playing one, these are a few things you should know about youth prescription sports glasses.

Why Your Kids Should Wear Sports Glasses

The National Eye Institute has said that most eye injuries in children occur while playing sports. This might be reason enough, but in addition, it is extremely dangerous for kids to wear their regular glasses while they’re playing a sport. The glass in regular prescription glasses is not designed to withstand impact or be durable enough to be worn during physical activity. It can easily shatter and cause major damage to the wearer’s eye. Prescription sports glasses are made of sturdier materials that will withstand the added stress of being worn during sports.

Sports glasses are usually made with polycarbonate materials that are much sturdier and more impact-resistant than traditional glasses. They absorb impact better because they’re made of a softer material. Aside from being more lightweight even, they also offer 100% UV protection, so your child’s eyes won’t be accumulating sun damage as they play outside.

The basic way sports glasses protect the eye is by being designed to withstand impact. With traditional frames, if they are struck hard, they will shatter directly into the eye. Sports glasses mitigate this risk by having larger and wider eye openings and materials that are softer. This way they don’t break on impact and the impact is dispersed on the face away from the eye and the eye socket. There might still be an injury, of course, but it’s much more likely to cause less damage if it’s directed away from the most vulnerable area on the face.

Which Sports Should They Wear Glasses For

In basically every sport, kids should be wearing sports glasses. The main danger of wearing regular glasses might be being hit by a ball or other projectile, but the impact from a rough play or any other contact from sports can be just as dangerous. These sports include the following:

In every case, there’s a risk of damage to the eye from a ball of some kind. There is also a risk of bodily contact that could result in a fall or damage to the face as well. Sports glasses help ensure that while this impact might happen, the eyes are protected.

The benefits of sports glasses go beyond the physical barrier between your child’s eyes and flying projectiles. They also protect from UV rays, and by extension, make it easier for your child to see clearly, they reduce glare, and they increase contrast. In every case, they increase the chances that your child will be able to see in that crucial, buzzer-beating, split second.

What to Know About Safety Ratings for Prescription Sports Glasses

Fortunately, manufacturers are not allowed to create a product and sell it as an option for protective eyewear. There are a few tests it must go through before it can be marked as a certified product designed to withstand the proper impact and actually protect your child’s eyes. These are the types of ratings you will absolutely want to take into account when you’re looking for the best sports glasses options for your child. In order to make the most educated decision about which product will protect your child most effectively, there are two types of ratings you should know about:

The ASTM F803 Safety Rating

These standards come from The American Society for Testing and Materials. They publish protective eyewear standards for various sports and the F803 standard is the most stringent standard for protective eyewear. To pass the High-Velocity Impact Resistance test, the eyewear must withstand projectiles sized from 40 mm to 65.1 mm fired at a rate of 90 mph. This is generally accepted to be one of the most stringent standards in the protective sports glasses industry, and any product with this certification is certainly worth considering as equipment for your child while they’re playing their sport.

ANSI Z87.1

The American National Standards Institute creates the standards for protective eyewear, most commonly in the context of professional safety. However, they also do sports glasses standards. To pass this test, frames and lenses must withstand the impact of various testing methods to ensure that the durability of the materials meets the standards of the rating.

The way ANSI works is as a private, non-profit that develops guidelines for products, including sports safety glasses. There are no laws that say the manufacturers have to uphold these standards, but if the products meet the ANSI standard, they are allowed to mark the glasses as ANSI certified. There are a number of ways these standards can be tested, including the drop test, and the high-velocity test. Anyone can comply with these standards based on the manufacturer’s in-house quality control procedures. No one from ANSI is required to certify that the products meet their standards

To be safe, it’s best to look for a product that has certification from both ANSI and ASTM, since that means they are meeting two separate standards of safety. This will ensure your child is as protected as possible by their prescription sports glasses.

The Best Brands for Youth Prescription Sports Glasses

Some brands have more experience than others in creating prescription sports glasses, which is why they are major leaders in the industry. Each of these brands has hundreds of positive reviews and is known for creating products that exceed the expectations of all of the industry standards while still prioritizing user comfort and style. These are a few fantastic places to start if you’re looking for the best sports glasses in the industry.

Rec Specs

Rec Specs prides itself on selling protective sports eyewear that can be customized to meet your prescription lens needs while also meeting or exceeding the strictest ASTM F803 standard. But, they want their customers to be safe without being forced to sacrifice their personal style preferences. Their website offers 28 youth-specific options in a variety of colors, and their products are all designed for peak performance while still being comfortable.

Rec Specs makes youth prescription sports glasses for the following sports:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Handball
  • Helmet Sports
  • Lacrosse
  • Racket Sports
  • Soccer

Bolle

Bolle is known for creating incredibly effective prescription eye protection that accommodates the needs of different people by sport. Accordingly, they have 3 different models of youth prescription sports glasses that come in a variety of colors. They sell their products based on the sport you’ll be playing while wearing them, and they have their own, patented shock absorption system designed to exceed the standards put in place by ANSI and the ASTM.

Bolle makes youth prescription sports glasses for the following sports:

  • Squash
  • Badminton
  • Handball
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Baseball

Wiley X

Wiley X is a little newer to the prescription sports glasses game, but they are making their mark in a huge way. Their products all meet several safety standards as outlined by ANSI and the ASTM, including the following:

  • The ANSI High Mass Impact Test- This test involves establishing that the frames and lenses that Wiley manufactures can withstand the weight of a 1.1 lb. pointed projectile dropped from a height of 50" to ensure that your eyes are protected from unexpected impacts.
  • ANSI High-Velocity Impact Test- To pass this test, frames and lenses have to be able to withstand the impact of a .25" diameter steel ball fired at 150 feet per second for the ANSI standard or .15 projectiles fired at 640-660 feet per second to meet the spectacle VO Ballistic standards. Goggles have to withstand .22 projectiles fired at a rate of 550-560 feet per second.
  • Facial Cavity™ Seals- One of Wiley X’s main selling points is their patented facial cavity seals. This protects your eyes from dust, pollen and wind, all of which can cause long term problems with your eyes including eye irritation and dry eye syndrome. This also protects your eye from peripheral light which can also keep you from being able to see clearly.
  • ASTM F803 Standards- Wiley X products meet the High-Velocity Impact Resistance test set in place by the ASTM, which requires that the eyewear has to be able to withstand projectiles between 40 and 65.1 mm fired at them at a rate of 90 miles per hour. Their Youth Force® styles are all tested to meet this standard, and they recommend them for several sports

Wiley X makes youth prescription sports glasses for the following sports:

  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Racquetball
  • Squash
  • Badminton
  • Paddle Ball
  • Tennis
  • Handball

Leader by Hilco

Hilco has been in the vision industry for years, and their sports protection is a huge benefit to the industry. They sell several different types of glasses designed for kids to wear during sports, and each of their products is recommended depending on which sport you’ll be playing. They also each come in a few different sizes to ensure that for every face shape and feature configuration, there is a pair of glasses that will be comfortable and easy for your child to wear.

Leader by Hilco makes youth prescription sports glasses for the following sports:

  • Badminton
  • Handball
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Tennis
  • Baseball
  • Racquetball

The most important part of ensuring your child’s eye safety really boils down to product selection. There are tons of options out there for youth prescription sports glasses, but not all sports glasses are created equal. It’s important that you consider the most effective product for your child’s sport and facial features, as well as making sure it has gone through stringent testing to make sure it’s up to the job. Plus, the added bonus of UV protection and increased contrast means that far from making your child less likely to succeed, the glasses might even give them an edge over their competition.

No child should ever have to give up sports for something as minor as a need for prescription glasses. Technology has evolved dramatically, and sports glasses have become a piece of equipment that not only covers the needs of those who wear glasses, but it also benefits those who don’t by protecting their eyes and keeping their vision clear on the field. Regardless of what sport your child is into, you always want them to be focused on having fun, getting better, and enjoying every minute of their childhood. You never want to be worried about whether or not their glasses will withstand the impact of their athletics. By carefully considering your options, there are plenty of ways you’ll be able to keep your child safe on the field and wherever their athletics takes them.

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Ryan Phillips
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