Here are some facts about eye injuries that really might get you thinking next time you do a house project or take your kids to their sports games. Keep in mind many of eye injuries can be prevented with the proper precautions.

In September of this year, Prevent Blindness published data that in 2013 more than 94,000 adults and children were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. for eye injuries from products. They went on to list the most common categories contributing to eye injuries as:

1. Power Tools

2. Welding Tools

3. Workshop Grinders, buffers or polishers

4. Manual tools

5. Bleach

It is very important to wear safety eyewear whenever working around the house, on the car, in the garage, doing yard work or working with any chemical that can cause eye injury. The protective eyewear must meet minimum standards as approved by ANSI (American National standards institute) standards. You can tell if your eyewear meets this standard by looking for a stamped logo “Z-87” on the frames.

Bungee cords used on products at home should be handled carefully so that they do not bounce back and cause eye injury. Chemicals should never be mixed as they can cause dangerous fumes and should always be used in well ventilated areas.

Every home should also order and place in convenient locations around the house the “First Aid for Eye Emergencies” sticker from Prevent Blindness to have available in case of an eye injury.

Prevent Blindness has an interesting fact sheet for Sports-related eye injuries by age.

http://preventblindness.org/sites/default/files/national/documents/fact_sheets/FS09_Sports_Injuries_by_Age_2014_0.pdf

This fact sheet shows that for children ages 0-14 the top 3 sports related injuries are:

1. Water and pool activities

2. Guns-Air, Gas, Spring, BB

3. Basketball

For 15+

1. Basketball

2. Water and Pool Activities

3. Soccer

The reason that sports-related eye injuries are of such concern is that they can cause significant eye injury, including permanent vision loss. Most eye injuries including sports related injuries can be prevented by simply wearing protective eyewear. The protective eyewear should be chosen with the help of your eye care provider specifically for each sport.

Another area for concern for eye injuries is around holidays.

When giving gifts to children remember that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that hospital rooms around the country treated 251,700 toy related injuries in 2010. 72 of these injuries were to those under the age of 15.

These injuries can be prevented by:

1. Buying toys that are appropriate for the individual child’s age and developmental level

2. Allow parents to help in the toy selection

3. Avoid toys with long strings or cords

4. Buy appropriate eye protection along with a toy that could cause eye injuries such as racquetball

5. Avoid toys with small parts such as marbles or small bouncy balls or those with sharp parts

6. Download every year Prevent Blindness’ list of safe toys and gifts.

For more specific information on preventing eye injuries please go to peventblindness.org

These tips are submitted by Dr. April Jasper, D.O., FAAO, who is a member of Vision Source. Vision Source is North America’s leading network of private practice optometrists, with more than 3,500 members. To find an optometrist in your area, please visit www.visionsource.com

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