Did you know that October is Eye Injury Prevention Month? Though you may not often think about the many ways you can damage your most delicate sense organs, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has some ‘eye-opening’ statistics about eye injuries:
- Each year an estimated 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the United States. Using protective eyewear can prevent 90% of all eye injuries.
- Nearly 35% of all eye injuries occur in people 18 to 45 years of age.
- Accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.
- More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20% will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.
- A foreign body in the eye is the most common type of injury, accounting for 35% of eye injuries. Open wounds and contusions each account for about 25%, and the remaining injuries are burns.
Here are a few simple things to keep in mind that can drastically improve your chances of keeping your eyes safe, healthy and happy!
Workplace Eye Safety
Aside from a variety of workplace safety workshops you can attend, there are a few things you can do to ensure that the risk of eye injury is dramatically decreased.
- Wear safety glasses, goggles or a face shield when engaging in work with tools such as hammering nails or metal, and working with power tools and chemicals. Furthermore, if you work with any sort of hazardous chemicals that could splash into your eyes, know where your workplace keeps the eye flushing station and make certain that you are well versed on how to flush chemicals out.
- Make sure you’re wearing the correct eye protection for the job you are undertaking, and most importantly, that they fit properly.
Eye injuries in the workplace are unfortunately so common that The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) reported that an estimated 2,000 U.S. workers sustain job-related eye injuries that require medical treatment every day. With that being said, safety experts and eye doctors believe that proper eye protection can lessen the severity or even prevent 90% of the aforementioned eye injuries.
Recreational Eye Safety
In terms of eye safety while playing sports or engaging in recreational activities, the risk level is quite high. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) estimated 40,000 injuries occur every year due to sports. The majority of victims are children, many of whom can suffer permanent visual impairment. To avoid subjecting yourself to any visual harm, follow these simple steps to lessen the likelihood of injury.
- Ensure that you wear protective eyewear while playing sports such as hockey, racquetball or any high contact sport. Unsurprisingly, baseball is the most common sport to cause eye injuries. It is so important to wear protective eyewear during these sports as it can prevent eye injuries more than 90% of the time!
- A sports-related injury that often goes unnoticed is injuries from UV light sustained by the sun during boating, sunbathing, or skiing. Sun damage to the eyes can be prevented by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet UV rays and also by wearing a hat.
Home Eye Safety
Though we spend so much time in our homes and work hard to carefully maintain them, the prospect of damaging our eyes is more imminent than you may think. The potential to damage one’s eyes around the home is estimated to cause roughly 125,000 eye injuries each year! What’s more is that 90% of these eye injures can be prevented by actively understanding safety practices along with the use of proper eye protection.
- When handling corrosive or any sort of dangerous chemicals, make sure that you wear the proper protective eyewear to ensure that nothing splashes in your eyes.
- When handling chemicals, always follow the warning labels and guidelines set out on the bottle.
- Before tending to your yard, do a quick scan of your gardens and lawn to remove any debris before using a lawn mower or weed whacker.
- Before and after handling any sort of chemical, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands.
- Keep chemicals out of reach of children and ensure that there is a lock of sorts on the cabinet.
- While cooking, wear protective eyewear or a cooking shield. This will help to prevent oils from splashing onto your face or eyes.
Children’s Eye Safety
It’s important to be a good role model to your child in terms of demonstrating good eye safety habits. Here are just a few ways that you can engage in some good practices:
- A common source of eye injuries for children is toys. To prevent any mishaps, check toys for sharp or pointed edges.
- Be a good role model-always wear proper eye protection yourself.
- Teach children how to carry sharp or pointed objects properly.
- Teach children that any sort of projectile is not a toy.
- Proceed with caution around fireworks or campfires.
Ensure that you keep all of these helpful tips in mind when going about your daily routine. If you’re interested in learning more about eye safety or the proper eyewear for you, contact us today!