Bill To Provide Eye Information about Eye Injuries Passes NJ State Legislature

Did you know that eye injuries are the leading cause of preventable blindness and visual impairment in children, and most injuries occurring in school-aged children are sports-related? Did you know that every 16 minutes a child incurs a sports-related eye injury severe enough to require a visit to the emergency room?

The NJ Legislature has recognized these important, eye-opening statistics and passed a bill to require the NJ Department of Education to develop an educational fact sheet for distribution to parents concerning sports-related eye injuries.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Herb Conaway, Jr., District 7 (Burlington) and Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, District 38 (Bergen and Passaic). It was cosponsored by Assemblymen Diegnan and Eustace and Senators Weinberg and Allen. It was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie on January 13, 2014.

According to Prevent Blindness America, 90% of all eye 15 injuries can be avoided by the use of appropriate eye protection and therefore the legislature believed that parents should be educated.

Bill # A1825/S-2093 states:

The Commissioner of Education [in consultation with the Commissioner of Health,] shall develop [by the 2013-2014 school year] within 120 days of the effective date of this act an educational fact sheet that provides information about sports-related eye injuries. The educational fact sheet shall include, but need not be limited to:

(1) a list of the most common sports-related eye injuries and the recognition of the symptoms of those injuries;

(2) a recommendation that children seek treatment and advicefrom a licensed health care professional regarding the appropriate amount of time to delay the return to sports competition or practice after sustaining an eye injury;

(3) a recommendation that all children participating in school sports or recreational sports wear protective eyewear;

(4) information concerning the purchase of appropriate protective eyewear; and

(5) any other information the commissioner deems appropriate.

Each school district and nonpublic school shall distribute the educational fact sheet annually to the parents or guardians of the students.

For more information on the bill please visit the state website:http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/A2000/1825_R1.PDF

Dr. Niki Silverstein applauds the passage of this bill as she believes that education and information is always the key in providing the best health for your eyes (and general health as well) and knowledge about treatment is essential to getting the right care at the right time.

Always go to an emergency room or contact a doctor if you or someone you know experiences any type of eye injury which results in pain, loss of sight, dizziness, any unusual sensation or symptom  or physical trauma to the eye or eye area.

 

 

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