We’ve been there. You’re watching a game and notice that one kid’s wearing regular glasses. Some days the ref will let them play, other days they won’t. We’ve always speculated about athletic goggles. We figured that the main difference is the material…that frames would be a lot more durable on athletic goggles or sports glasses (we’re gonna interchange these words).
Turns out, athletic goggles aren’t the same as regular glasses
As you know social media isn’t our thing…but we’re trying, folks! So we were updating our instagram (please follow us: @scoutjrsports ) and we noticed that the folks at RELENSE in Freeport were posting about athletic goggles on their Instagram feed. So, we reached out to see if they could answer some questions/walk us through the process. And sure enough, they did!!! (we’ve been really lucky about connecting with awesome people & programs).
I headed down to Freeport last week to meet with the owner, Mauricio and his wife Loreen, and turns out they have two young kids that play sports and one of them has a pretty strong prescription. That’s when they decided to find athletic goggles that would work for growing children without putting a huge dent in their parents’ pockets. They also offer snazzy personalization options like adding your sports number or initials to your glasses (LOVE this idea) to really make them your own. Gotta love local business owners helping parents.
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Relense? Their displays were predominantly sports goggles.
And that’s when I realized….I didn’t know anything about athletic goggles.
You probably don’t either…
Like, did you know that there are different safety requirements based on specific sports?
Or that the leading cause of blindness in kids is sports injuries
Or, that fog happens when kids are playing sports and sports glasses have different features that are designed specifically for sports? For example, there are vents on each side to ensure that the goggles remain fog-free. Because you definitely don’t want your kids glasses fogging up while they’re playing. And, folks, fog happens!
There really is so much to share.
If your child’s already wearing glasses, I don’t need to tell you about why they need a prescription. Yet too often parents don’t want to spend the money on sports goggles.
THE FACTS (ouch!)
⇒ More than 600,000 sports & recreation eye injuries per year
⇒ More than 90% of all eye injuries can be prevented with the use of appropriate protective glasses! That’s not just kids that need to wear glasses – eye injuries happen to kids that don’t wear glasses too.
⇒ Over 85% of children do not utilize protective eyewear in situations that represent a risk of eye injury
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? SPORTS GOGGLES vs REGULAR GLASSES
⇒ Regular eyeglass lenses SHATTER.
⇒ Sports glasses sizing depends on the size of your child’s head
⇒ Athletic goggles usually last about two years for children as long as there aren’t any major changes
⇒ For the most part, sports glasses are for kids ages 4 & up
⇒ Sports glasses have specific requirements by sport to ensure that kids are better protected from injuries to the eyes.
⇒ Swim goggles can be made modularly or entirely prescription.
⇒ Regular eyewear may cause a more severe eye injury
FEATURES OF SAFETY GLASSES
The most important feature in safety glasses is the shatter proof glass that prevents your childs’ eyes from injury if he or she is hit in the eye. Other features include fog vents to prevent fog and sweat build up, bumpers that help hug the glasses to the face for a more secure fit, bands to ensure the frames stay in place, and UVA & UVB protection and anti reflective coatings add comfort and help ensure eyes remain healthy.
And, of course –corrective safety glasses help your child SEE BETTER, which helps them react better…which helps avoid injuries.
“Corrective safety glasses help your child SEE BETTER, which helps them react better….which helps avoid injuries.”
RECOMMENDED EYE PROTECTION
Liberty Sport put together a small chart for parents, which I’ve duplicated here. Refer to these guidelines based on your child’s sports and positions before purchasing. You can usually find a sticker on the side of each pair of athletic goggles that lists the standards and approximate age (but remember that working with someone in person is the best way to ensure that your child is fitted properly).
ASTM F803 is the standard requirement for most sports and is available from such brands as Liberty Sport and Hisco. But note that each sport has its own requirement based on the conditions of the sport and governing bodies.
Baseball: Fielding ASTM F803, Batting/Base Running ASTM Standard F910
Basketball: ASTM F803
Lacrosse: ASTM 3077 (Bangerz Over The Glasses youth, Cascade Poly Pro youth, Liberty sports 49/52/55 youth, STX 4-sight Plus youth)
Soccer: ASTM F803
Squash: ASTM F803
Volleyball: ASTM F803
Football: A polycarbonate Eye Shield attached to helmet and mounted wire face mask
Relense recommends purchasing modular swim goggles for kids. Modular goggles are built in a way so that each lens is snapped on (see the above picture for an example). This means that if one eye changes and the other doesn’t (pretty common for kids), then you can just update one eye instead of buying an entirely new set. While you’re at it, go ahead and purchase an extra strap so your little swimmer can use the same goggles for a couple of seasons.
Modular goggles have some limitations since they aren’t able to accommodate all prescriptions, though they can accommodate prescriptions from -8 to +8. That’s pretty cool! And remember that water magnifies, so it’s important to work with your Dr to ensure the proper prescription.
So, to recap:
Modular swim goggles: $65 – $75 for kids with prescriptions between -8 and +8. As your child’s eyes change or if one lens becomes damaged, single lens replacements are available, so the goggles can last another season.
Prescription swim goggles: $125 – $175 for Liberty Sport Swim Goggles
WHERE TO FIND THEM
Relense is located at 37B, Guy Lombardo Ave, Freeport, NY 11520 and can be reached at 347-878-5064. If your kid wears glasses and needs protective eyewear, we definitely recommend dropping by to support a local business.
Oh, and if you were wondering which sports are the most dangerous for eye injuries, here they are:
- Golf (we actually know someone who lost an eye while playing golf, so we recommend safety wear for everyone)