As young children get new toys over the holidays, now is a good time to reflect on how we can keep our eyes and vision safe over the holidays.
Avoiding Toy-Related Eye Injury
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, roughly 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries that end up in the emergency room are the result of toys. As these are largely preventable incidents, there are many preventative steps that you can take to mitigate the risk for your child being affected by such an eye injury.
- Be cautious of purchasing toys that launch sharp, protruding, or projectile parts such as airsoft & BB guns, crossbows, and other projectile toys.
- Never allow children to use or be directly near any active fireworks.
- Don’t allow children to use or play with lasers. A few seconds of exposure to a laser pointer can cause significant retinal damage.
- Read safety labels and warnings. Make sure that the toys are age-appropriate for your child, especially when playing with other children’s toys.
- Ensure the toy is being used according to its intended use.
- For sports activities, ensure that your child has protective eyewear, sunglasses, or safety goggles. Wearing corrective eyewear is beneficial as it helps your child’s reaction time and visual alertness and depth perception.
Protecting Vision From Exposure To Screens
Many popular gifts involve the use of digital screens – such as phones, TVs, computers, video game consoles, and gaming devices. With the increased exposure to digital screens, it’s important to consider the guidelines around the safe use of digital screens and avoiding eyestrain (asthenopia) – read here.
One of the most important steps you or your children can take to limit digital eye strain is to follow the 20 / 20 / 20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the screen at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. Blinking more frequently and looking at screen slightly below eye level, and at arm’s length (never less than 30cm).
Being Cautious Around Holiday And New Year’s Festivities
Eye injuries caused by flying Champagne corks are very real and have been widely documented by vision specialists. A cork can fly up to 50 mph and if it hits the eye, can cause bleeding, abrasions, traumatic iritis and cataracts and long-term glaucoma. In order to minimize the risk of injury caused by Champagne corks, here are several safeguards:
- Chill Champagne before opening, as the gas in Champagne expands when warm and can cause the bottle to open unexpectedly.
- Point the bottle away from others and never shake the bottle, as this can also cause the cork to pop unexpectedly.
- After removing the foil and wire hood, while keeping the bottle pointed away from yourself or anyone else, put a towel over the top of the bottle and grip the cork firmly. Slowly twist the base of the bottle while holding the cork, until the pressure naturally starts to push the cork out.
Giving Our Best Wishes
We would like to give our best wishes to everyone during this holiday season. Stay safe and we look forward to the opportunity to serve you in the new year.