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Safe Toys and Celebrations

December 1, 2021
two young girls opening presents by the Christmas tree

December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Eye Health Awareness Month

Tips for Selecting Safe Toys

Did you know that roughly one in 10 children’s eye injuries, resulting in an ER visit, are caused by toys? The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) advises parents to be careful when choosing gifts for young people and to avoid gifts that launch projectiles like crossbows and BB guns.

Eyes can be vulnerable to injuries, especially around this time of year. Common injuries from toys include corneal abrasions (a scratch on the cornea of your eye) and ocular hyphema (the collection of blood on the front of your eye). Severe eye trauma can lead to retinal detachment, ruptured eyeball, or blindness. Serious injuries to the eye can have life-long effects.

  • Avoid buying toys with sharp, protruding, or projectile parts.
  • Give appropriate protective eyewear when giving sports equipment.
  • Check labels for age recommendations.
  • Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.
  • Make sure children are supervised when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games.
  • If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek immediate medical attention.

Tips for Safely Handling Your Christmas Tree

There is no denying that a beautifully decorated tree has magical qualities, but tree decorating could be hazardous. Whether you select a live tree or prefer it fresh from the box, there are some basic things you can do to protect the eyes of your family.

  • If you have a real tree, wear protective eye wear when handling, cutting, and securing your tree. Trees can have sap, dust, bark, or needles which could cause irritation to your eyes.
  • When decorating with glass or fragile ornaments, make sure they are hung securely and out of reach of curious little hands and pets.
  • Wash your hands after handling your decorations or tree. Glitter and small sequins can hitch a ride on your hand and end up in your eye.

Tips for Safely Opening Your Champagne

Thinking of taking your party to the next level with a glass of champagne? Champagne cork mishaps can lead to a variety of serious eye injuries, including rupture of the eye wall, acute glaucoma, retinal detachment, ocular bleeding, dislocation of the lens, and damage to the eye’s bone structure. * Utilize the tips below so you don’t end up ringing in the New Year at the emergency room.

  • Always hold the cork down when you are removing the wire wrapper.
  • Point the bottle away from yourself at a 45-degree angle, aim it towards an open area, and gently pull on the cork
  • Do not spray others with bubbles. Carbonated drinks can cause irritation and lasting damage if they get into your eyes.

What to do if you sustain an eye injury?

Despite our best efforts and paying close attention, accidents do happen. If you experience and eye injury this holiday season, take the following steps immediately:

  • Apply a cold compress, but do not put pressure on the eye.
  • If you have debris in your eye, use a doctor-approved eyewash. If metal or glass has penetrated the eye, contact your optometrist immediately. If they can’t be reached go to your local emergency room.
  • Contact your optometrist and discontinue the use of corrective lenses if you experience any pain or discomfort.
  • If you have injured your eye, visit your local emergency room, and contact your optometrist. If the accident is severe, dial 911.