Tuesday, November 13, 2012
More on the Protective Eyewear Study
A new study conducted by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Fairfax (VA) County Public Schools, and Boston Children's Hospital has found that high school field hockey players competing in states with mandated protective eyewear have significantly lower rates of head, eye, and facial injuries when compared to players who compete in states without protective eyewear mandates.
Each academic year, an estimated 63,000 girls participate in high school-sanctioned field hockey in the United States. Head, facial, and eye injuries are common among field hockey players, and, occasionally, are catastrophic. In recent years, there has been ongoing debate among coaches, players, parents, rules committees, and medical professionals regarding the efficacy of protective eyewear in preventing these injuries.
The study, currently online and appearing in the December 2012 print issue of Pediatrics, examined injuries among high school field hockey players 14-18 years of age during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 scholastic seasons, just prior to the national mandate by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) requiring the use of protective eyewear for all high school field hockey players which went into effect during the 2011-12 season.
Researchers found that the rates of all head and face injuries (including eye injuries and concussion) were significantly higher in states with no protective eyewear mandate compared to states with protective eyewear mandates. Players from states with no protective eyewear mandate were more than five times more likely to sustain an eye injury than players from states with mandated protective eyewear. In addition, a larger percentage of injuries sustained by athletes from states with no protective eyewear mandate required more than 10 days to return to activity (32 percent) compared to athletes from states with mandated protective eyewear (17 percent).