How to prevent eye injuries
Eye injuries affect more than 1 million people every year, yet 90 percent of these injuries are preventable with the use of appropriate safety eyewear. Consider these reminders from Prevent Blindness America:
At home or outside
- Household products cause more than 32,000 serious eye injuries each year.
- Wash your hands after using household chemicals.
- Ensure there are no sharp corners on the edges of furnishing and home fixtures.
- Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous solvents and detergents, and do not mix cleaning agents.
- Turn spray nozzles away from your face.
- Read and follow directions when opening bottle-tops (i.e., wine, carbonated beverages).
- Read and follow directions when playing games and operating equipment.
- Provide lights and handrails to improve safety on stairs.
- Keep paints, pesticides and fertilizers properly stored in a secure area.
- Wear recommended protective goggles, helmets, and safety gear.
- Use guards on all power equipment.
- Wear ultraviolet (UV)-protective sunglasses.
- Never look directly at the sun (especially during an eclipse).
Eye injuries of all types occur at a rate of more than 1,000 per day. Each year some 100,000 of these will be disabling, causing temporary or permanent vision loss.
- Wear recommended work-related protective gear.
- Wear glasses/contacts with the correct prescription.
- Use proper lighting.
- Clean dust and fingerprints from computer monitors and/or video screens.
- Take frequent breaks to avoid fatigue.
Each year, hospital emergency rooms treat nearly 40,000 victims of sports eye injuries.
- Wear recommended protective eyewear during the appropriate sports and recreational activities.
- A helmet with a polycarbonate face mask or wire shield should be worn during the appropriate sports.
Each year, toys and home playground equipment cause more than 11,000 injuries to young eyes.
- Select toys that are appropriate for the child's age and activity level.
- Provide adequate supervision during activities that use sharp objects (i.e., arts and crafts).
- Do not permit a child to play with projectile toys such as pellet guns, or bows and arrows.
- Beware of items in playgrounds and play areas that pose potential eye hazards.
- Keep all hazardous cleaning supplies and sprays out of the reach of children.
- Keep children away from fireworks.
- Set an example of using the appropriate protective eyewear during sporting and recreational activities.
- Keep children away from lawnmowers in use, as debris may be projected into the air.
- At school, teach children to wear protective eye wear when performing scientific or lab experiments.