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Program protects eyes of young athletes

DEAR EDITOR:

Our youth sports seasons may have been delayed or postponed altogether since the COVID-19 pandemic, but Superspecs, the only statewide program of its kind in the country, has its eyes set on when life on and off the field is back to normal.

Superspecs is a program run by the Ohio Ophthalmological Society, which annually distributes close to 20,000 pieces of protective eyewear — helmets, fielders’ masks, goggles and prescription goggles — to thousands of Ohio leagues, community recreation teams and schools to wear for baseball, softball, soccer, basketball and lacrosse. At an average cost of $50 each, Superspecs provided close to $1 million in protective eyewear this past year.

Applications for the 2021 year are available July 1 online at www.superspecs.org.

There are an estimated 45,000 sports-related eye injuries that occur each year in the United States. Because eye injuries are a leading cause of blindness in children, wearing protective gear can reduce a child’s risk of eye injury by 90 percent. Superspecs offers free protective eyewear to children ages 18 and younger.

Our favorite umpire call is, “Safe!” and thanks to the thousands of people who donate $1 to Save Our Sight when renewing their drivers’ license, Superspecs has been able to keep the eyesight of two million Ohio children safe since 1999.

League administrators, parents and teachers can learn more about free protective eyewear and complete an application at www.superspecs.org.

LAURA ROSENBERG

Ohio Program Director

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