There’s no doubt that your eyes are important, but for something that matters so much, your eyes are often neglected regarding safety. The average home is full of dangers to eyes that often go unnoticed. In fact, 125,000 eye injuries are caused by common household objects each year. From cooking to yard work, your eyes are frequently put at risk around the home. October is Eye Home Safety Month, so it’s a great time to ask how you can protect your eyes at home.
One of the greatest dangers to your eyes in the kitchen is hot grease or oil, that can splatter and damage your eyes. While working in the kitchen, use grease shields or take other protective measures to block ingredients from burning your eyes. Keep your face away from dishes on the stove or in the oven to prevent hot ingredients from your eyes.
Many cleaning supplies contain chemicals that can be harmful to your eyes. It’s a good idea to wear protective goggles when using solvents, detergents, and other strong chemical products. Always wash your hands after handling these materials, as touching your eyes when there is chemical residue on your hands can be harmful to your eyes. Also, mixing cleaning agents can cause reactions that might severely damage your eyesight, so never mix products.
It’s wise to always wear protective goggles while doing yard work. Flying debris produced when doing yard work poses a risk to both you and bystanders. Be sure to remove debris, including tree branches and rocks, from the yard before mowing or leaf blowing to prevent objects from kicking up into your or a bystander’s face. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from these objects, and wear chemical goggles to guard against exposure to pesticide and fertilizers. It’s important to store paints, pesticides, and fertilizers properly as well to avoid exposure to dangerous chemicals.
Always wear protective eyewear when doing home improvement projects to protect against flying particles. Ideally one should use safety glasses which are made with shatterproof polycarbonate lenses especially if striking metal against metal (as in hammering a nail). If tools are damaged, replace or repair them before use.
Slipping and tripping can cause eye damage and other physical damage. Stairs can be an area of particular danger to eyes. Make sure stairways in your home are well lit and are equipped with handrails to increase safety. Check for loose rugs and other objects that are easy to trip on and secure them. It’s also a good idea to use nonskid mats on slippery bathroom floors.
If damage does occur to the eye, DO NOT touch or rub the eye, DO NOT attempt to remove objects in the eye, and DO NOT apply ointment or medication. Instead, see an eye doctor as soon as possible to prevent further damage and treat existing damage.
Remember that regular eye glasses don’t always provide adequate eye protection. Also, read and follow manufacturer instructions and warning labels to ensure you are using products safely. Most of all, use common sense around the home. Eye damage can be prevented by taking small extra precautions and watching your surroundings.