Commit To Be Fit: Goggle Program Makes Sure Children’s Eyes Are Protected

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Before you Commit to Be Fit, you have to see to play the game.  Now, young athletes have some sponsors with the foresight to protect their sight.

Since she was three years old, Alaina Bernsdorf has been playing soccer.  But like a lot of kids, her vision wasn't perfect.  Her mother was concerned about Alaina wearing glasses on the field.

"She was afraid to do things typical kids would do, head the ball, maybe go in a little harder on the tackle, for fear of breaking her glasses,” said her mother Jen Bernsdorf.

Dr. David Rogers, an ophthalmologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital says shattered glasses can do real damage to a player's eyes.

"If a ball were to strike a child in the face who's wearing a regular pair of glasses, they could still injure the eye, and it may even be worse,” said Dr. David L. Rogers, Nationwide Children's Ophthalmologist.

The Ohio Ophthalmologists Association launched "Play Hard Don't Blink."  Its goal is that all kids who play sports and need vision correction get sports goggles. Kids from lower income families can get the goggles for free. Thanks to donations and a grant from the state health department, the doctors can help thousands of Ohio kids each year. 

"We spend a lot of time protecting our head.  We try to protect our bones with padding and other protective gear,” said Rogers.

He says saving sight is critical, and sports goggles can prevent 90 percent of eye injuries.  

As far as Alaina's concerned, she can have fun and Commit to Be Fit without fear.

"With these, you can see the ball really well when it's coming at you, so you don't get hit in the face. And if you do have your glasses on and it hits you in the face, and they'll break, so these are really good for that,” said Alaina.

Alaina starts seventh grade this fall, and one day hopes to play for the Lady Buckeyes. 

LINK: Play Hard, Don't Blink