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Nearly every child has heard some version of the same warning shouted their way: “Quit right now before someone pokes an eye out!” That might be enough to put an end to an ill-advised stick fight or indoor rough-housing, but the truth is the dangers to your eyes never really leave the house. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about one-third of all injury-related emergency room visits come from home and recreational injuries.
A survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology showed a mere 35 percent of respondents said they wear eye protection when performing home repairs and less than that use protective measures when playing sports. Think you only need to be mindful of eye protection at work? Well, nearly half of all eye injuries happen at home thanks to things like maintenance, yard work and even cooking. And of all the people with eye injuries who were surveyed, less than 10 percent were wearing protective eyewear.
We have put together some quick tips for eye safety:
· Check areas of your home for optimal safety. Correct lighting on stairs, keeping tools in top conditions, storing chemicals and fertilizers properly, and simply keeping a close eye on the operating instructions can all contribute to an environment that promotes eye safety, not to mention nicer working conditions for those home repair projects.
· Wear protective eyewear when working in the yard or around the house. It’s not just the risk of an errant stone being flung into your eye from a weedwacker (though that’s certainly a risk), it’s dust and other irritants, a splash from chemicals, welding or even being a bystander near any of these events. A long day working in the yard also means the need for protection for the sun’s UV rays in the form of sunglasses.
· Even with the best protection and the most careful application, accidents can happen. In addition to knowing how you can prevent an eye injury, it’s also important to know how to react if one occurs. Whether a simple piece of dust or speck or something extremely serious like a chemical burn or cut, it’s important to take the necessary steps and seek an eye care professional or emergency services doctor if required to minimize the risk of lasting damage.
Take a few moments to examine your home workshop’s conditions, make some safety upgrades where needed and be sure you have the right protective eyewear for any task or activity – so you can spend the next year as safely as possible!