Raising Awareness about Home Eye Safety

Home Eye Safety Month falls in October and the AAO is offering eye safety tips for the home

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD Beth Bolt, RPh

(RxWiki News) During Home Eye Safety Month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) is stressing the importance of eye safety and eye injury prevention. 

According to the AAO, about 2.5 million eye injuries happen in the US every year, and more than half of these injuries happen in or near the home.

The AAO lists several steps that people can take to prevent eye injury in the home including: wearing protective eyeglasses when working with cleaning solutions and keeping sharp objects out of the reach of children.

For protective eyeglasses, the AAO recommends getting a pair of American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-approved eyewear to use when completing different activities that have a risk of eye injury, like yard work or cleaning.

"Get a pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear for your household."

In an eye injury report by the AAO and the American Society of Ocular Trauma, more than 40 percent of eye injuries reported annually are caused by home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. Additional eye injury risks also occur when using hot objects such as curling irons around the face and when opening champagne or wine bottles during a celebration. These injuries most commonly occur in the kitchen, bathroom and family room.

Knowing when and where eye injuries take place is important so that individuals can protect themselves and their families.

Although millions of eye injuries occur every year, the AAO reports that about 90 percent of these injuries can be prevented. The AAO and Prevent Blindness America offer several tips to improve eye safety at home, some of which include:

  • Inspect and remove debris from lawns before mowing.
  • Wear protective eyewear when using a lawn mower, making home repairs or using power tools. 
  • Wear protective eyewear when using cleaning solutions and detergents.
  • Do not mix cleaning agents.
  • Secure rugs and cords to prevent falls indoors.
  • Coil extension cords and garden hoses to prevent falls outdoors.
  • Prevent contact with harmful household products (e.g., detergents, paints, or glues) by locking the area where they are stored.

Eye safety tips for children include:

  • Teach children not to run around with utensils, scissors, pens, or any other sharp objects.
  • Don’t allow young children to use combs, brushes or hairspray unless you watch or help them.
  • Don’t allow children to play with small, pointed or sharp toys or objects in bed.
  • Keep toys for older kids away from younger kids.
  • Keep detergents, cleaning supplies, nail polish remover, mouthwash and makeup in locked cabinets or out of reach.
  • Keep nails, glue, screwdrivers and other tools locked away.
  • Keep younger children away from work areas where power tools are being used.
  • Set a good example for children by wearing eye protection while using cleaning supplies or when working with power tools.

"Eye doctors are well aware of the potential damage that can occur to the eye and the serious visual consequences such injuries can bring to patients who sustain them. This common sense advice will help provide protection from many of the everyday hazards that can but patients at risk. Taking a moment to think about your eyes can pay big dividends in preventing vision loss," Christopher Quinn, OD, an optometrist at Omni Eye Services, told dailyRx News.

For more information about eye injury prevention visit the Eye Smart website. 

Review Date: 
October 4, 2013
Last Updated:
October 8, 2013