Preventing eye injuries at home starts with a plan. Re-evaluate your daily practices and correct bad habits that put your vision at risk. Awareness is the first step to maintaining safe and healthy eyes.
We feel safe in our own homes and it’s easy to get careless. Over 125,000 eye injuries are caused every year by household chemicals and supplies, according to experts. And 90% of the accidents could be prevented by following common-sense precautions.
Evaluate your family’s eye safety habits and embrace eye safety focused on accident prevention. (AAO, 2021)
Gardening and Yard Work
Flying debris, pollen dust, projectiles, and chemicals are among the risks your eyes may encounter in your yard and garden. A little awareness prevents most accidents and prepares you to act promptly in the case of an emergency.
- To reduce the chance of flying particles, remove trash such as branches and stones before mowing your grass.
- Garden chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, should be kept in their original containers and safely stored away from children.
- Store garden chemicals out of the way so you don’t spill them on yourself.
- Maintain garden equipment to reduce the danger of mishaps.
- When landscaping, mowing or gardening, wear safety glasses or goggles.
Garage and Wood Shop
DIYers must take extra steps to keep their eyes safe. The details will vary depending on the task at hand. Metalworking and woodworking are high-risk activities for eye injuries.
- Maintain all equipment to lessen hazards.
- Wear PPE while working.
- Keep the area ventilated.
- Securely store paints, stains, and different chemicals in a protected spot, not
- Read and adhere to guidelines for any materials and hardware.
- Be cautious when working with batteries.
Cleaning and Housework
Many cleaning products include toxic chemicals that can cause eye damage or even blindness. Cleaning chemicals and other household solutions can cause serious eye injuries.
- Don’t combine cleaning products.
- Wear PPE when using chemicals.
- Understand and adhere to product use guidelines.
- Be sure the area is properly ventilated.
- Keep chemicals out of the reach of children.
Cooking and in the Kitchen
In most people’s minds, the kitchen isn’t the first place they think to look for eye safety hazards. The kitchen is no exception when it comes to eye safety for the home.
- Be careful with hot oils or fats, keep the face away in the case of splashes.
- Carry shears and knives carefully and be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep faces away from pans while cooking with spicy, acidic, or hot ingredients.
- Wearing safety glasses and using gloves is recommended.
Children’s Play Areas
It’s never too early to start teaching your children healthy eye habits. Toys that aren’t age-appropriate pose the greatest danger to young children. Parental awareness is key to safety.
- Talk about eye safety with your child. Make them aware of how toys can be dangerous.
- Avoid toys with elastic or stretch that might snap into eyes.
- Toys that shoot should be aimed away from others towards a safe area. Talk about not using a shooting toy at someone.
- Long hours on computer games and PCs can cause eye strain. Limit your child’s online gameplay, especially color and vivid games with strobing light.
Computer and Home Office
Computers and digital screens have become mainstays in our daily lives. We spend most of our waking hours glued to displays on smartphones, tablets, televisions, and laptops. (All About Vision, 2021) Eyestrain, eye fatigue and headaches are a sign that your eyes need a break.
The 20-20-20 rule is a guide to maintaining good eye health and preventing vision loss. Spend 20 seconds per 20 minutes on the computer looking away from your computer screen. If you suffer from dry eye, a natural over the counter eye drop or natural tear solution can help.
- Create an ergonomic PC station to limit neck and eye strain.
- Light your room well.
- Consciously create continuous reprieves from computer screen use.
There are specialty lenses or additional eye care products for helping protect your eyes from screen overuse. Ask your optometrist for guidance here.
Removing Something from Your Eye
The best course of action is almost always to avoid a situation altogether. Accidents can happen to everyone, even the most cautious person. Having a home eye washing kit available for simple first aid is a good idea.
Refrain from rubbing your eye if any chemicals or debris get in it. Spend 15 minutes rinsing your eye with warm water. If your accident is a result of a chemical, your vision is impaired, or you are experiencing pain it is best to seek emergency care. Eye injuries can result in permanent blindness, something no one wants.
Our eyesight is a precious gift. Protect your sight with awareness and follow basic safety measures to be sure accidents don’t happen and that you are prepared for when they do.
Boyd, Kierstan. “Eye Safety at Home: Preventing Eye Injuries.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 3 Mar. 2021, www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-in-home
Person. “7 Most Common Eye Injuries and How to Treat Them.” All About Vision, All About Vision, 7 Sept. 2021, www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/eye-injuries.htm