Last year, more than 193,000 adults and children were treated in Emergency Rooms across the U.S. for eye injuries that occurred in the home. This data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System also shows that many of the injuries were caused by common items used around the house, such as cleaning products and power tools.
Of these, about 90 percent could have been prevented through understanding the dangers around your home and using protective eye wear, according to Prevent Blindness America.
October is Home Eye Safety Month, a time dedicated to spreading awareness of these often preventable accidents and helping protect vision. The following tips can help keep you and your loved ones safe from eye injuries at home.
While many eye injuries occur outdoors, there are many ways that they can happen doing everyday tasks in your home. Cooking and using cleaning products improperly are common sources of indoor eye injuries. When cooking, use grease shields to prevent splatter that could damage your eyes. The nozzles of cleaning products should always be pointed away from you.
Other things to consider to reduce risks of injury in your home include:
- Secure rugs and cords to prevent falls
- Provide lighting and handrails for stairways
- Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous detergents and cleaners
When working or playing outdoors, safety should always be considered. Paints, pesticides, cleaning products and fertilizers should always be stored securely. Tools should be secured, as well.
If you’re doing yard work, always remove debris such as sticks, rocks and trash from the yard before mowing. Wear safety glasses during outdoor work to guard your eyes against flying particles and debris.
Children’s Eye Safety
Children’s eye injuries often occur around the home while playing. Falls, contact with harmful household products or tools, and misuse of toys are common causes of these injuries. Minimize the risk with these tips:
- Use safety gates on staircases
- Add pads or cushions on sharp corners of furniture and fixtures
- Use cabinet and drawer child locks
- Keep paints, chemicals, cleaners and other similar products locked up
Toys can be another source of eye injuries, but giving careful consideration to what your children play with can help. Avoid toys that fire projectiles, fly, or have sharp edges or spikes. Always read the warnings on your kids’ toys, and make sure the toys are safe for your child’s age.