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Vol. LX, No. 10
May 16, 2008

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May Is Healthy Vision Month

Each May, the National Eye Institute and the National Eye Health Education Program Partnership sponsor Healthy Vision Month (HVM), a national eye health observance. This May, HVM is dedicated to increasing the use of personal protective eyewear in recreational activities and hazardous situations around the home.

This year’s theme is “Gear Up! There’s more to lose than the game. Use protective eyewear.” The focus is to inform people about the need for children ages 7 to 14 (and all others) to prevent eye injuries by using protective eyewear when playing sports. NEI encourages parents, coaches and teachers to persuade children to use protective eyewear during sports-related activities.

Every 13 minutes, a sports-related eye injury is treated in an emergency room in the United States. The majority of these eye injuries occur in children under the age of 15. Most can be prevented with the use of protective eyewear.

Protective eyewear includes safety glasses and goggles, safety shields and eye guards especially designed to provide the correct protection for a certain activity. Ordinary prescription glasses, contact lenses and sunglasses do not provide adequate protection in eye-hazardous situations. Safety goggles should be worn over them.

NEI invites you to help raise awareness about the importance of using protective eyewear this May. Visit the HVM web site ( for more information and to download resources you can use to inform parents, coaches, teachers and children about sports-related eye injuries and protective eyewear. NIHRecord Icon

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