While the festive season is a great time to unwind, indulge and celebrate with family and friends, it is also a time when we see an increase in hospital admissions due to eye injuries. So we look at some precautions that you can take to avoid ending up in the emergency ward this holiday period:
1. Learn how to pop open a bottle of champagne safely. Flying corks can pose a significant risk to your eyesight so it doesn’t hurt to brush-up on your bottle opening skills! Need some tips? Check out this article on how to open a bottle safely.
2. Avoid purchasing dangerous or breakable toys for kids, particularly projectile toys that have the potential to cause significant eye injuries. According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 1 in 10 children's eye injuries treated in the emergency department can be traced back to toys – a good reason to choose toys carefully this Christmas! The American Academy of Ophthalmology has some great tips on what to look out for when buying toys for your little one.
3. Wear protective eyewear and headgear when playing sport. Sports that pose a higher risk of eye injury include cricket, ice and field hockey, lacrosse, golf and fishing – or anything that involves flying objects! While the incidence of sports-related eye injuries is quite low in Australia, children are at most at risk of eye injuries. Research shows that 30% of eye-related sports injuries in children have the potential to cause permanent eye damage or vision loss.
4. Wear sunglasses when you’re out in the sun to prevent sun damage to your eyes. Spending long periods in the sun without eye protection has been linked to eye damage, including cataracts, macular degeneration and growths on the eye, including cancer. Ophthalmologists recommend wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection and a hat to prevent sun damage to your eyes. For more tips, see here.
5. Avoid decorating mishaps by looking out for hanging ornaments, Christmas lights and tree branches when decorating your tree or when reaching under the Christmas tree to get presents – all have the potential to cause corneal abrasions and in some extreme cases, perforation.
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