Eye Injuries at Home Send Thousands of Adults and Children to the Emergency Room Every Year
Most Eye Injures Can Be Prevented Through Safety Practices and the Use of Proper Eye Protection
In 2014, more than 193,000 adults and children were treated in hospital emergency rooms in the United States for eye injuries sustained in the home, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Many of the items that were involved in injuries are commonly used in and around the home — cleaning supplies, lawn equipment and power tools.
In a recent study, “Age and Consumer Product-Related Eye Injuries in the United States,” published in the Rhode Island Medical Journal in 2014, the data showed that consumer products causing the highest proportion of eye injury visits to the emergency room varied among the different age groups including:
- chemicals for those ages 0-4 years, and in those ages 65 and over,
- household items in children ages 5-9
- sports products in youth and young adults ages 10-24 year-olds,
- cutting and construction tools in adults ages 25-64
Fortunately, most eye injuries can be prevented by wearing the eye protection approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) when performing household activities. The eye wear should have the “Z-87” logo stamped on the frames.
Prevent Blindness, a national organization devoted to preserving sight, also recommends the following to help prevent eye injuries at home:
- Provide lights and handrails to improve safety from tripping hazards on stairs.
- Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing.
- Keep paints, pesticides, fertilizers, and similar products properly stored in a secure area.
- Keep your tools in good condition; damaged tools should be repaired or replaced.
- Wear safety glasses or dust goggles to protect against flying particles, and chemical goggles to guard against exposure to fertilizers and pesticides.
- Wear chemical safety goggles when using hazardous solvents and detergents.
- Read and follow all manufacturer instructions and warning labels.
- Do not mix cleaning agents.
- Know that regular eyeglasses don’t always provide enough protection.
“When we’re at home, it’s tempting to think we aren’t susceptible to dangers, but most eye accidents happen at home when we’re doing things like working in the yard, cleaning the house or repairing a broken item,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “We urge everyone to monitor their surroundings and take the necessary precautions to help ensure the gift of sight lasts a lifetime.”