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Children’s protective eyewear: the challenges and the way forward

Children’s eye injuries prompt calls for increased adoption of eye protection for children at risk

Ocular injuries are common in childhood, and their aetiology and epidemiology are well documented.1,2 Internationally, 20%–59% of all ocular trauma occurs in children (male to female ratio, 3.6 : 1), with 12%–14% of cases resulting in severe monocular visual impairment or blindness.2,3 In 2009, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare identified that people aged < 19 years represented 15.6% of eye-related emergency department presentations between 1999 and 2006.4 Most eye injuries in children occur at home (76%), with the remainder occurring during sport and other recreational activity.2,3,5 In a recent New South Wales study, open globe injuries accounted for 40% of ocular trauma in children; of these, 48% occurred at home and involved common household objects.6 In 2000, 2.4 million eye injuries in the United States were related to sporting activity; 43% in children aged < 15 years and 8% in children aged < 5…