Posted by: Eye Health Northwest in General Eye Health on December 6, 2022
Pediatric eye injuries are very common, especially during the month of December when children are excited about new toys. Roughly 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries treated in the ER are caused by toys.
There are many opportunities for eye injuries in adults during the holiday season as well. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has named December Safe Toys and Celebrations Month to help educate people on this topic and prevent eye injury.
Keep reading to learn more about Safe Toys and Celebrations Month!
Safe Celebrations in December
December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology wants to help you make the right choice when choosing holiday gifts for young people. If you’re giving gifts of champagne or other effervescent fermented beverages or plan on opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate the New Year, it’s best to learn some tips on how to stay safe.
Why The Eye is Vulnerable to Injuries
The soft, sensitive, and delicate tissue of the eye means that the slightest damage can have long-lasting impact. Injuries to the eye, especially in children, can affect vision for life.
Toys can frequently cause corneal abrasions and ocular hyphema, the medical term for bleeding inside the eye. Serious trauma can result in retinal detachment, ruptured eyeballs, and blindness.
Making the Sight-Saving Choice
The easiest way to prevent toy-related eye injuries is to choose safe toys that can’t hurt your child. These safety tips can steer you in the right direction:
Avoid Sharp Objects
Don’t buy toys with sharp protruding parts or toys which release projectiles. This includes crossbows, BB guns, Airsoft, paintball, and other guns.
Supervise children whenever they play with toys or games that could lead to eye injuries.
Choose Safe Laser Products
If you’re giving any type of laser product, look for a label that shows the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.
Use Protective Eyewear
When giving sports equipment, be sure to include appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses.
Buy Age-Appropriate Gifts
Toys are frequently labeled with age recommendations, and it’s best to follow this guidance. Always take into account the child you’re buying for: are they mature enough and responsible enough to use the toy or materials with care?
Don’t give younger children toys meant for older children, and don’t let them play with toys intended for older kids.
Safely Opening a Bottle of Bubbly
Champagne is what many of us break out for celebrations and special occasions. But if you’ve ever tried to uncork a bottle, you know the contents are held under pressure and that the cork can really fly.
A champagne cork can reach speeds of 50 mph and has enough force to shatter glass. A cork that slams into an eye can cause corneal abrasions, ocular hyphema, and even glaucoma.
To safely uncork a bottle of champagne, follow these three rules:
1. Chill the Bottle
Champagne bubbles are filled with gas that expands when warm. If you open up a cold bottle, it’s safer to handle.
2. Don’t Shake or Point the Bottle at Anyone
Hold it at a 45-degree angle with the bottle base slightly lower than the neck. Point it away from anyone nearby.
3. Use a Towel and Press Down on the Cork.
Remove the foil and the wire cage that holds the cork on. Cover the cork with a towel and press down, turning the bottle in your hands while holding the cork still.
The pressure from the bottle will push the cork out. Keep your hand on the towel-covered cork, and press against it so it doesn’t fly off.
You can still have fun this holiday season, but take precautions when it comes to preserving your visual health. The gift of sight is one thing money can’t buy!
Do you want to learn more ways to keep your and your loved one’s eyes safe this season? Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR, today!