The month of October is Eye Injury Prevention Month. While it may seem random, October is a perfect time of year to get a refresher on eye safety and injury prevention. Here are a few reasons why:
- October is a popular month for lawn cleanup, which often involves power tools like hedge trimmers, blowers, lawn mowers, and weed whackers that can cause eye injuries.
- Fall sports are in full swing, literally!
- Halloween offers endless possibilities for make-up and masks that are great fun but can irritate eyes or obstruct vision. Hand-held props that accompany Halloween costumes can also put eyes at risk.
No matter what activities may be on your October to-do list, it is important to take proper safety precautions. Every year, 2.5 million eye injuries occur, and almost half of those injuries take place in the home. Often, eye injuries happen while doing routine tasks like cooking, cleaning or repairing. Everyone needs to practice good eye safety, and it’s never too early to start training your children or a young neighbor about essential tips for eye injury prevention (Source: Friends for Sight).
Here are some guidelines and precautions to commit to memory and practice-- and also share with others:
- Wear proper eye protection. Safety glasses or goggles should be worn any time that you will encounter dust, flying debris or chemicals. Prescription eyeglasses are not sufficient to protect your eyes from injury because they expose too much of the area around the eye. Some brands of goggles will fit over your prescription eyeglasses. Invest in a quality pair of safety goggles or safety glasses for each member of the family and wear them together.
- Fully read labels on all chemical products. Never mix chemicals like bleach, detergents and cleansers together. Use cleaners and chemicals in well-ventilated areas, and wear safety goggles to avoid chemical splashes.
- Inspect your yard and garden before doing any yard work. Removing debris, large stones or larger twigs will help protect your eyes when using power tools and mowers. Wear eye protection to prevent foreign objects from being thrown into the eyes.
- Evaluate your home for tripping hazards. Tack down rugs to prevent falls, and install handrails on stairways. Do a walk-through of your home and replace any light bulbs that have burned out. Move furniture that has crept into walkways, especially in high-traffic areas.
- Wash your hands. Thoroughly wash hands after completing a task and before touching your eyes or face.
- Seek medical attention immediately. If any eye injury occurs, play it safe. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.