Eye Injuries

Eye injuries affect more than one 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 2,000 per day. Each year some 10 to 20 percent of these injuries will be disabling because of 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.

With children:
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.


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