AN ACT concerning protective eyewear for certain children and supplementing Title 5 of the Revised Statutes.
BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey
C.5:18-1 Protective eyewear for certain children participating in sports.
1. Any child who wears corrective eyeglasses while participating in racquetball, squash, tennis, women's lacrosse, basketball, women's field hockey, badminton, paddleball, soccer, volleyball, baseball or softball, sponsored by a school, community or government agency, shall be required to wear protective eyewear that meets the frames standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) F803 and lens standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1.
C.5:18-2 Grants to assist low-income families.
2. The New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, established under P.L.1999, c.265 (C.26:1A-37.5 et seq.) is authorized to provide grants to assist low-income families in purchasing the protective eyewear. As used in this section, a "low-income family" means a family which qualifies for low-income housing under the standards promulgated by the Council on Affordable Housing pursuant to the "Fair Housing Act," P.L.1985, c.222 (C.52:27D-301 et al.).
C.5:18-3 Immunity from civil liability.
3. No school, community or government agency engaged in organizing, teaching, refereeing or coaching a sports activity described in section 1 of this act shall be liable in a civil action for failure to administer or enforce the provisions of this act.
4. This act shall take effect six months after the date of enactment.
Approved January 11, 2006.
Tips on what to look for when searching for sports protective eyewear for your child. You can find this type of eyewear at most establishments that sell corrective glasses. Make sure you buy eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Polycarbonate is very resistant to impact and is virtually shatter-proof. This material is thinner and lighter than traditional plastic lenses, offers ultraviolet protection and is scratch-resistant.
Make sure the eyewear is a good fit for your child and avoid the temptation to buy oversized eyewear that appears to be loose. It has to fit well to perform well.
The law stipulates the sports protective eyewear must conform to the requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials Standard F803. You'll know the eyewear you're considering meets this standard because "F803" will be stamped on it.
Be aware that the law also requires that eyewear meet American National Standards Institute lens standard Z87.1. Z87.1 Plus offers even more protection, according to ophthalmologist Paul Vinger, clinical professor of ophthalmology at Tufts University and an expert on protective eyewear.
Different types of protective eyewear are appropriate for different sports. The packaging of the eyewear you're interested in should list the sports for which it's designed.
Make sure your protective eyewear has received the certification seal of the Protective Eyewear Certification Council. PECC provides a third-party certification service in which an independent, authorized laboratory tests the eyewear to verify meets the required standards. The PECC certification seal isn't required on the product packaging, but there's a list of protective eyewear products that have received the certification online at www.protecteyes.org