Eye Safety at Home
Vision plays an important role in everyday life. Eye safety should be a part of everyday life, too. Unfortunately, most people are not aware of the risks that they take until it is too late and an injury occurs. Eye injuries can happen anywhere, at work, at school, and even on the road. More often, eye injuries happen at home, where we tend to be more careless. About 40% of serious eye injuries occur in the home.
Seemingly mundane activities, such as house cleaning and lawn care, pose many dangers to your eyes. Carelessness and misuse of cleaning products, fertilizers, and pesticides can cause permanent blindness, among other injuries and death. Here are some things you can do to protect your eyes when using household chemicals:
- Always wash your hands after using any household chemical. This includes thoroughly rinsing your hands after activities such as washing dishes.
- Point nozzles away from your face
- Work in a well ventilated area
- Do not mix cleaning agents
- Wear chemical safety goggles when using solvents and detergents
- Store all cleaning and lawn care products securely. These products should be out of the reach of children and pets and in the proper container, sealed securely, so that they cannot spill or leak.
- Keep you face away from the work area. This may sound obvious, but people often get household chemicals in their eyes due to splashing when pouring chemicals into a container or applying cleaning products.
Other Household Dangers
Eye trauma can be caused by furniture, toys, power tools and other household items. There are many ways to improve eye safety at home including:
- Check for sharp edges on furniture and fixtures
- Keep sharp objects away from children
- Only use power tools and lawn equipment that is well maintained
- Always wear protective eye wear when using power tools and lawn equipment
- Make sure that all toys are age appropriate
- Point champagne bottles away from your face when opening
Sports pose a wide variety of dangers to the eyes. Some sporting activities, such as paintball and target practice, carry an obvious risk, and most people are aware of the need for protective eyewear when engaging in these activities. Basketball is actually the leading cause of sport-related eye injury, followed by water sports and pool activities, and baseball/softball. Protective eyewear is available for every sport. Proper sporting eyewear bears an American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) code.
Wear sunglasses with UV protection during all outdoor activities including yard work, lounging, and play. Never stare directly at the sun, not even during an eclipse.
Corrective lenses should not prevent the use of, or be worn in place of, protective eyewear. Hardware stores sell protective goggles which can be worn over prescription glasses. Safety glasses and protective eyewear for sports are available with prescription lenses.
Eyesight is easily taken for granted, and eye safety is often forgotten. 90% of eye injuries are preventable. Basic eye safety at home takes just a little bit of time and effort and can prevent blindness.