Eye safety is an important part of wellness, especially around the holiday season when you’re holding celebrations and planning parties. Hazards may be more present during this busy time for people of all ages, so it’s important to pay close attention to your activities so nobody gets accidentally injured. Since this month is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month, here are some eye health hazards and eye safety tips to keep in mind this month as you’re preparing to have some festive fun.
Be Careful In the Kitchen
Many people get excited when the holidays come around because it means getting to cook and eat delicious food. This often involves cooking with sharp utensils, oil and small ingredients and spices that can easily end up in someone’s face and eyes. Here are some ways to avoid kitchen accidents and practice eye safety during the holidays:
- Keep sharp knives or other dangerous cooking implements in safe places so neither you nor a child is at risk of being injured.
- Stay focused on your work when cooking with oil, as it may spit on you at high temperatures.
- Pay attention when preparing ingredients, as the amount of force you use to chop or dice could propel some bits of food off your counter space, which could be a hazard to people nearby.
- Be prepared for cooking fires and have a fire extinguisher on hand. Grease fires are common, and the smoke and flames can potentially cause face and eye damage should they get out of control.
- Clean up slippery messes on the floor. Liquids can easily get spilled in a kitchen, but this can be especially dangerous if multiple people are in the kitchen at the same time. If someone slips and falls, they risk serious injury.
Decorate the Tree With Care
Many people enjoy getting live trees to put in their houses during Christmas, which often means going to a tree farm to cut one down. The process of cutting down and decorating a tree has its own set of hazards. Here’s how to protect yourself and your loved ones from eye injury while doing these activities:
- If you’re cutting your own tree, remember to wear safety goggles as you saw its trunk to avoid getting sawdust in your eyes.
- When decorating the tree at home, watch out for the pokey ends of the tree branches, which can hurt your eyes. The longer, lower branches can hurt small children if they’re not paying attention to where they’re hanging up decorations.
- Many holiday decorations are breakable, so hang them higher on the tree to reduce the risk of them being knocked off the tree and shattered in a way that could injure someone.
Use Fireworks Responsibly
Fireworks are a great way to liven up your Christmas and New Year’s celebrations as long as they are handled with care. Unfortunately, fireworks also injure thousands of people every year. They can easily cause burns or shoot hot sparks that can injure your face and eyes. Here are some ways to protect yourself from them:
- Go to fireworks shows supervised by professionals, where you’ll be in a completely safe place to watch the fireworks display.
- If you shoot off fireworks at home, create a safety zone for the fireworks so no one risks injury while near them.
- Avoid reckless activity with firework materials, especially firecrackers and sparklers, as they have the potential to burn you and shoot sparks and other harmful substances into your face.
- When using fireworks, have someone educated in first aid and/or fire safety nearby.
Popping the Cork
What’s a holiday celebration without a little bubbly? Popping the cork off a bottle of champagne is fun, but it can also be dangerous, as a champagne cork can shoot off the bottle at speeds of up to 50 mph, depending on the amount of pressure buildup inside the bottle. Here’s how to avoid cork shooting hazards:
- Make sure the drink is properly chilled to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit prior to serving, as this low temperature keeps the bubbles from expanding too much and decreases the amount of pressure behind the cork.
- When popping the cork, keep pressure on it when taking off the foil and wire, and push it slightly downward as you gently twist the bottle. These steps will ensure that the cork comes off in a controlled manner.
- Always point the cork in a safe direction when doing this so no one is at risk of getting hurt and no one’s possessions are at risk of getting broken.
Give Safe Gifts
Kids love receiving toys for Christmas. However, some toys are prone to breaking when used heavily, which can lead to eye injury. Also, some popular toys include lasers, which can be harmful to the eyes. Some things to be aware of if you buy potentially hazardous toys for children include:
- Remind children never to point a laser in another person’s eyes.
- When considering toys to purchase for children, look for ones that have comprehensive safety certifications and that have been tested for breakage.
- If you buy a toy with a laser, make sure the laser is tested and certified by the FDA.
We Wish You Happy and Safe Holidays!
At Piedmont Eye Center, it’s our pleasure to help you keep your eyes healthy, especially during the festive times of the year. We hope you take the potential hazards of this time to heart, and we wish you happy and safe celebrations. If you’re in need of an eye appointment or to see one of our eye doctors about an eye injury, contact us today!