August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) lists several types of injuries that contribute to loss of vision in children. The injuries includes blunt trauma, sharp trauma, and chemical trauma. Use the following prevention tips to help protect your children from the most common causes of eye injuries.
To protect your children from injuries that could be caused from falling, it is recommended that you use safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs. Make sure ample lighting and handrails exist around stairs. Pad or cushion any sharp corners or edges on your furniture. Additionally, always maintain adequate adult supervision of the child.
Misuse of Toys
Many injuries from toys can be prevented by looking for the letters “ASTM” on the packaging. This label means that the product meets the national safety standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials. In addition to looking for those letters, be sure to read all warnings and instructions on toys before purchasing. When buying toys, make sure to avoid those with sharp points or dangerous edges. Be sure to always select age-appropriate toys, and avoid those with projectiles or explosions. When children are on playgrounds or play areas, make sure to keep watch over them at all times.
Contact with Harmful Household Products
Injuries can occur when children come into contact with a number of common things in the household. To safeguard against this, install locks on your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Store sharp kitchen tools and office supplies out of the reach of children. Always be sure to keep pesticides, paints, fertilizers, and other chemicals in a secured area that children cannot access.
Be sure to always follow your state’s laws for riding in the front seat and using car seats to protect against injury. Additionally, store all loose items in the trunk or secure them to prevent them from moving.
Sports and Play
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, preventing injuries during sports and play requires proper protective equipment. Be sure to use protective eyewear or masks for sports like baseball, basketball, football, racquet sports, soccer, hockey, lacrosse, and paintball.
What to Do in the Event of an Injury
If your child’s eye is injured, place a shield over the eye and secure it with tape. If there are any foreign object in the eye, do not remove them. Do not irrigate the eye unless it is a chemical injury. In the event of a chemical injury, flush the eye with water. In all instances, take them to the emergency room immediately. If you are in need of other pediatric eye-care, please schedule a visit with one of our friendly doctors.