Being active is not just about taking part in organised sport, elite athleticism or expensive fitness training, it is about dancing, chasing around and having fun with your mates. Being active is also character building (cliche but true) and important for mental well-being. Children need to be encouraged to play active games as well as read and playing computer games.
FACT. Children (and parents) who cannot see clearly without their glasses will opt out of participating in sport.
- Fear of failure and being ridiculed causes too many spectacle wearers to avoid being active.
- Given opportunities and support most people can find a sport they can participate in. Some sports can be played with specs in place (tennis) whilst other activities do not need good vision (judo or swimming) – but when vision is poor without glasses children maybe less confident..
If a child finds distance vision blurry, feels uncomfortable without their glasses or struggles with depth perception (due to a lazy eye) this will stop them enjoying school sports. Skills learned when playing sport are essential to a child’s all round development (mental, physical and team participation) so all children should be encouraged to find a physical activity they can enjoy, and if it is an activity that the whole family can enjoy so much the better.
If the child usually wears glasses then teachers and/or coaches should be aware of this. Your child’s optometrist can advise whether the glasses should be worn for sporting activities or if they can be left off. Sometimes children may need to wear their spectacles whilst listening to instruction, but may be better taking off their specs when active. It is important they have a safe place where they can quickly and easily leave their specs.
If glasses are needed and allowed to be worn for sport then it is best to have a well fitting plastic frame with polycarbonate lenses and fitted with a sports band. Special goggles and frames are available for active kids.
Computer games are useful for improving hand eye coordination.