Winter brings many fun holiday activities, but it’s important to make sure that those happy memories aren’t marred by preventable tragedies. Your family eye doctor and TLC Laser Eye Centers are focusing our Eye Safety Campaign this winter on some leading hazards to your eye health and safety. We want to make sure that you enjoy your holidays and winter activities with your family, not in the emergency room. Each year, more than 100,000 Americans, more than half of them children, suffer from eye injuries. Sadly, more than 90 percent of these could have been prevented.
Unsafe toys are the leading cause of blindness and eye injuries in children. It is important that you not buy toys with sharp or pointed edges, or exposed nails that can cut or poke an eye. Always select toys that are appropriate to the child’s age. Age labeling is important, not only for developmental reasons, but also for safety. Children under two should never have toys with stick handles. Those under eight should not play with darts (even those with suction cups), arrows, slingshots, or other missile throwing games. Older children should use this type of toy only under your supervision and after being taught the proper way to play with them. Every year, thousands of people, especially children, end up in the emergency room with serious injuries from BB and pellet guns. These “toys” pose an extreme danger because they encourage young people to shoot at each other. They have been removed from the toy section of stores for that very reason. Look for the letters ASTM on the toys you are considering for your child. This means that the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Cigarettes and Cigars
When weather is warmer, most smokers try to smoke outdoors, but blasts of Arctic air sometimes drive those smokers to reconsider that strategy. This is an awful mistake when children are present in the home. If you must smoke, be aware of the dangers that smoking products, such as cigarettes and cigars, pose to children. Most smokers may not realize that smoking products can cause serious damage to children’s eyes. They rank as the second leading cause of injury to children under five years of age and affect more than 3,000 each year. These eye injuries occur because of children’s natural curiosity. They often grab ashtrays placed above their eye level, often with the smoking materials still burning. The result can cause permanent damage, or even blindness from a burned cornea. Other damage is caused by the smoke and ashes that get into a child’s eyes. It may be inconvenient to end indoor smoking at your home, but that inconvenience is worth a child’s sight.
Categories: Eye Health 101