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).

At work

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.

At play

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.