Can kids with poor eyesight still play sports?
Playing sports is safe for children who have myopia (nearsightedness). And some safety precautions can help protect their vision during playtime — such as wearing corrective lenses and, in some cases, specialty eyewear.
Having myopia can feel like a limitation or even a risk when it comes to participating in physical activities. But have no fear; there are ways you can help protect and enhance your child’s vision while they play:
Corrective lenses such as glasses or contacts can help your child see things clearly during games. This should make it easier to see the ball (and avoid getting hit) and improves hand-eye coordination and overall performance.
Everyday eyeglasses are usually safe for low-contact sports such as bowling, golf and cycling, especially when made with impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses. But there are some disadvantages — glasses can get very foggy or dirty. They can also limit peripheral vision.
Eyeglass lens coatings can improve vision for those who prefer to wear glasses during games. This includes anti-glare, anti-scratch and water-resistant coatings. Polarized sunglasses are another great option for baseball, fishing and other outdoor sports.
Contact lenses can provide a wider range of vision than eyeglasses. This is something to consider for sports that take place on a field or large court.
Sports glasses and goggles add extra protection during high-impact sports such as football, soccer and basketball. These activities have an increased risk of a ball, elbow or hand hitting and injuring the eyes. Look for styles that wrap around the head completely for the most protection.
Avoid wearing contact lenses while swimming, diving or practicing other water sports. Doing so can increase the risk of eye irritation and infection. Prescription swim goggles are available if your child needs them!
Playing sports is a great way for your kids to get physical activity, and in some cases, spend more time outside. Whether or not they have perfect vision, keeping their eyes properly protected is key.
SEE RELATED: Eyeglasses that enhance sports performance
Is playing sports safe for children with myopia? MyKidsVision. November 2019.
Page published on Wednesday, March 23, 2022
Medically reviewed on Tuesday, February 15, 2022