Each academic year, an estimated 63,000 girls participate in high school-sanctioned field hockey in the United States. Head, facial, and eye injuries are common among field hockey players, and, occasionally, are catastrophic. In recent years, there has been ongoing debate among coaches, players, parents, rules committees, and medical professionals regarding the efficacy of protective eyewear in preventing these injuries.
The study, currently online and appearing in the December 2012 print issue of Pediatrics, examined injuries among high school field hockey players 14-18 years of age during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 scholastic seasons, just prior to the national mandate by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) requiring the use of protective eyewear for all high school field hockey players which went into effect during the 2011-12 season.
Researchers found that the rates of all head and face injuries (including eye injuries and concussion) were significantly higher in states with no protective eyewear mandate compared to states with protective eyewear mandates. Players from states with no protective eyewear mandate were more than five times more likely to sustain an eye injury than players from states with mandated protective eyewear. In addition, a larger percentage of injuries sustained by athletes from states with no protective eyewear mandate required more than 10 days to return to activity (32 percent) compared to athletes from states with mandated protective eyewear (17 percent).
"This study adds to an accumulating body of evidence, most recently demonstrated in high school women's lacrosse, that mandated protective eyewear effectively and significantly reduces the rates of head and facial injuries in contact and collision sports," said Peter Kriz, M.D., the study's principal investigator, co-author, and sports medicine physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital. "We now have a large, national study that provides evidence that protective eyewear is indeed effective in reducing head and facial injuries, including eye and orbital injuries, which validates the decisions of rules committees such as the NFHS to mandate protective eyewear use in high school field hockey and other sports."
The study showed that injuries to the eye orbits, eye globes (eyeball), eyebrows, and eyelids were virtually eliminated in the athletes competing in states that mandated protective eyewear.
"As medical professionals who work closely with athletes and coaches, and who have children ourselves who play contact and collision sports, we are very familiar, and even respectful, of the issues of culture and tradition in sport. Other sports, such as ice hockey and lacrosse, have gone through painstaking processes of balancing safety issues with sport culture and tradition with the goal of providing a safe playing environment without jeopardizing the intrinsic purity and integrity of the game," stated Kriz.
Kriz added, "Here in the Northeast, children learn to play ice hockey with a full facemask/cage from a young age. Many of these kids go on to play field hockey in middle and high school. They've adopted this protection at a young age, and they don't miss a beat when transitioning to other sports requiring facial protection. Early adoption, rather than integrating mandated protection at a later age, particularly in the setting of this study's results, appears to be the key. I think this will play out in other sports facing similar decisions regarding facial protection, such as baseball and softball."
The researchers also found that concussion rates were similar for athletes from states with mandated protective eyewear and athletes from states with no protective eyewear mandate, and that addition of protective eyewear did not result in more player-player contact injuries.
"Some people think that athletes become more aggressive when they wear additional protective equipment because they feel 'safer.' Critics fear that this increased aggression will actually lead to more injuries," said study co-author, Dawn Comstock, Ph.D., principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital. "Our study challenges this perception. We found no increase in the rate of concussions or player-to-player contact injuries in states that mandated protective eyewear."
Data for this study were collected from the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System, High School RIO™ (Reporting Information Online) and from Fairfax County (VA) Public Schools Athletic Training Program. The study was funded in part by Prevent Blindness America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment.
About Hasbro Children's Hospital
Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, R.I., is the premier pediatric facility for clinical care, research and education for Rhode Island and surrounding southeastern New England. A private, not-for-profit institution, it is the pediatric division of Rhode Island Hospital. Rhode Island Hospital is the principal teaching hospital of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a founding member of Lifespan. In 2011, the hospital received more than $55 million in external research funding. For more information visit www.hasbrochildrenshospital.org, follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.
About The Center for Injury Research and Policy
The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) works globally to reduce injury-related pediatric death and disabilities. With innovative research at its core, CIRP works to continually improve the scientific understanding of the epidemiology, biomechanics, prevention, acute treatment and rehabilitation of injuries. CIRP serves as a pioneer by translating cutting edge injury research into education, advocacy and advances in clinical care. Visit www.injurycenter.org for more information on CIRP and High School RIOTM.
Jill Reuter | EurekAlert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences
21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences