Over a million eye injuries occur in people’s homes every year. That might sound scary, but the good news is that 90 percent of these injuries are preventable as long as we follow proper safety instructions and use eye protection.
An accidental fall can turn the most ordinary of household items into an eye hazard, from edges of furniture to pens and pencils. The most common culprits of eye injuries are toys with small parts and the harsh chemicals in many cleaning products. Our eyes are also at risk when we cook, if we get too close to a skillet of burning oil.
Outdoors, there are dangers too. Debris from a lawn mower can cause eye injury, as can work and gardening tools. Fertilizer and pest control products are also things we don’t want anywhere near our eyes. So how can we protect ourselves and our family members from these dangers?
Don’t fall into the trap of assuming your normal glasses will offer adequate protection; they may shatter if struck, causing even worse damage. Most home improvement projects involve tools or chemicals that can harm our eyes, so safety goggles are an excellent form of protection. If your projects are on the more intense side, you might even want to use polycarbonate safety glasses or face shields to keep debris away from your eyes.
Another great way to keep your eyes safe is to carefully read the labels on any chemicals you use around the house and yard. Labels include safety instructions to follow, as well as instructions on how to wash the chemical out of your eyes or who to call if an accident happens.
A few more things you can do to make your home safer are to cushion the sharp edges of furniture in high-traffic rooms, use a splatter shield when cooking with hot oil, and buy age-appropriate toys for your children so that they aren’t playing with small pieces before their hand-eye coordination has developed.
Sometimes accidents still happen even when we do follow recommended safety procedures. If an eye injury occurs involving foreign bodies in the eye (like chemicals), flushing with water for 20 minutes or longer can help remove them, but you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible. For eye injuries involving penetration of the eye, do not attempt to remove the object or touch the eye. Instead, cover the eye with a rigid shield (like a cup taped over it) and get straight to the emergency room.
If you want to learn more about how you can protect your eyes at home or anywhere else, come see us! We can answer any questions you have and recommend the best eye protection for your situation. We look forward to getting you and everyone you love on the road to better eye safety!