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When you think about
who’s at risk of eye injury,
you probably picture
workers in a factory or
on a construction site.
And indeed many eye
injuries happen on the
job. But almost as many
happen around the home.
All it takes is a flying
champagne cork or a
shooting rubber band.
Fortunately, most eye
injuries are preventable.
Take simple steps to
reduce the risk of an eye
injury and understand
when to see a doctor.
What can you do to
prevent an eye injury?
To prevent an eye injury around the
home, follow these safety tips:
Wear protective eyewear during
risky activities.
Wear safety glasses
with side shields anytime you might be
exposed to flying particles, objects or dust.
Wear goggles when exposed to chemicals
- even if you’re just a bystander. Protective
eyewear counts during sports, too. Any
sport featuring a ball, racket or flying
object poses a potential risk of eye injury.
Use caution with chemicals and
cleaners.
Carefully read the labels
of chemicals and household cleaning
supplies, such as bleach, before using
them. Don’t mix products. Keep all
chemicals and sprays out of a child’s
reach.
Supervise your child’s use of tools.
Pencils, scissors, forks and knives can all
cause serious eye injury. Keep in mind
that common household items - such
as paper clips, bungee cords, wire coat
hangers, rubber bands and fishhooks -
also can be dangerous.
Avoid certain children’s toys.
Don’t
allow your child to play with nonpowder
rifles, such as pellet guns or BB guns.
Avoid projectile toys, such as darts, bows
and arrows, and missile-firing toys.
Don’t allow your children to
use laser pointers.
Laser pointers,
especially those with short wave lengths
such as green laser pointers, can
permanently damage the retina and cause
visual loss with exposures as short as a
few seconds. As an adult, be cautious
when using laser pointers. Avoid directing
the beam toward anyone’s eyes.
Be careful when cooking or using
hot objects.
Use grease shields to
prevent the splattering of hot grease or oil.
Avoid using a curling iron near your eyes.
Eliminate hazards that may cause
falls. Secure rugs and railings.
Consider covering sharp furniture edges
and corners with a cushioning material,
especially if a child or elderly adult lives in
your home.
Forgo backyard fireworks.
Leave
fireworks to trained professionals.
Take caution when opening a
champagne bottle.
Don’t shake the
bottle. Point the bottle at a 45-degree
angle away from yourself and any
bystanders. Firmly place your palm over
the cork while removing the wire hood.
Place a towel over the entire top of the
bottle, grasp the cork and slowly twist
the bottle until the cork is almost out of
the neck. To prevent the cork from being
discharged like a missile, maintain slight
downward pressure on the cork just as it
comes out of the bottle.
Use car seats.
Make sure your child is
properly secured in a car seat and that the
seat belt or shoulder belt fits tightly. Don’t
allow a child age 12 or younger to ride in
the front seat. Store loose items in your
trunk or secure them to the floor of your
vehicle
What are the signs and
symptoms of an eye
injury?
It’s not always easy to identify an eye
injury - especially in a child. Seek medical
care immediately if you notice any of
these signs or symptoms:
• Obvious pain or trouble seeing
• A cut or torn eyelid
• One eye not moving as well as the other
eye
• One eye sticking out farther or seeming
more prominent than the other
• An unusual pupil size or shape
• Blood in the white part of the eye
• An object on the eye or under the eyelid
that can’t easily be removed
What can you do if an eye
injury occurs?
When an eye injury occurs, seek medical
help from an ophthalmologist or another
doctor as soon as possible - even if
the injury seems minor. Delaying care
could lead to permanent vision loss or
blindness. In addition, take simple steps
to prevent further damage. For example:
• Don’t touch, rub or apply pressure to
the eye
• Don’t try to remove an object that
appears stuck on the surface of the
eye or an object that appears to have
penetrated the eye
• Don’t apply ointment or medication to
the eye
• Flush out any chemicals the eye has
been exposed to with plenty of clean
water
• Gently place a shield or gauze patch
over the eye until you can get medical
attention
An accident can happen in the blink of
an eye. Being prepared - both through
prevention and quick action in case of an
emergency - can help keep you and your
loved ones seeing clearly.
H
Jan/Feb 2014
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