A true Canadian pastime is the game of hockey. In this article I am speaking to those who actually play the sport, not just watch it. Enjoyed by all ages hockey is fast paced, a great workout, a skill based team sport and is, regrettably, not without the risk of injury. I have enjoyed playing for years but always become a little nervous when playing alongside others who do not have adequate protective equipment – particularly face protection.
Basketball, field hockey, ice hockey, lacrosse, racquet sports, baseball, softball, wrestling, fencing, cricket and paintball are sports presenting the highest risk of eye injury. While face protection is mandated in most Canadian jurisdictions, adult recreational leagues, pickup hockey, and other children’s hockey groups often do not have such regulations or do not enforce them.
Eye injuries in hockey, often caused by a puck or stick, can be severe resulting in blindness or loss of an eye. This trauma is devastating to an individual resulting in reduced quality of life and increased financial burden. Fortunately, the proper use of CSA-certified eye protection drastically reduces the risk of eye injury. Full face protection is preferred as often the stick or puck will strike the face in an upward motion and can enter under a half visor. Full face protection also reduces the risk of facial lacerations and dental trauma.
Of all my protective hockey equipment, there are two or three pieces I would not go on the ice without. One of these is my face mask. I love my vision – with both eyes!
Some interesting links:
Excellent information for players from the Canada Safety Council:https://canadasafetycouncil.org/child-safety/smart-players-protect-their-eyes
Information from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131116171108.htm
Information from the CNIB: http://www.cnib.ca/en/your-eyes/safety/at-play/Pages/hockey.aspx