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

Swetha S Philip and Annette K Hoskin
Med J Aust 2014; 201 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja13.00132
Published online: 21 July 2014

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 years.7 Retrospective studies in Australia have shown that eye injuries from sporting activities accounted for 10% of severe ocular trauma in children, with permanent visual damage occurring in 27% of these cases.1 However, there is a lack of detailed information regarding the nature and incidence of children's sporting eye injuries.

  • Swetha S Philip
  • Annette K Hoskin

  • Lions Eye Institute, Perth, WA.



We thank David Mackey, Managing Director of Lions Eye Institute, for his support and guidance, and the Joyce Henderson Trust, Telethon and the Australia–India Council for their funding and support.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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