The holiday season calls for celebrations and spending time with loved ones. While the festivities and family times are good, the festive season is also the time when there is a spike in injuries. Did you know that in the US, eye injuries account for almost 20 percent of all the hospital injuries caused during the holiday season?
Far too many eye injuries are also reported in Australia each year, with a large portion of them occurring in and around our homes. Unfortunately, very few people consider it necessary to use eye protection gear while working at home. Let’s look at the different areas where you need to be careful to prevent eye injuries during the holidays.
Decorating the tree is a major family event. Though it sounds like a lot of fun, it can bring forth a number of risks and injuries, especially eye injuries.
The pine needles and branches have the potential to harm the eye in case you fall face-first into the tree. Have a partner hold the ladder steady so that you don’t topple over and fall onto the tree and hurt your eyes. Use protective eye-wear while decorating the tree.
Use eye protection when you are untying the tree as long branches can unexpectedly shoot out and scratch your eyes and face severely. Keep children at a safe distance before you untie a fresh tree. Cutting the edges of the Christmas tree will also bring down the possibility of eye injuries.
Sharp and breakable decorations also pose a risk. Christmas decorations that shine and sparkle may catch your kids’ eyes and if they don’t know how to handle them, they might hurt themselves and their eyes. Try to avoid sharp and breakable decorations if you have little kids. Ensure that your children understand that some decorations must be handled with care.
Bubble lights, 'angel hair' and 'spray snow' also present reasonable dangers to the eye. Make sure that you corral stray strands of the angel hair, buy only the non-toxic spray snow and keep bubble lights away from the reach of children as they contain hot liquid that can burn the eyes and skin. Make sure your kids wear safety glasses if they are spray-decorating. Check if the lights and ornaments are cracked or broken as they can cause serious eye damage. Replace them immediately if they are.
Every kid wishes for at least one toy from Santa. However, this popular holiday gift segment is often devoid of proper safety accessories. Children’s eye injuries from propulsion toys such as BB guns, paintball guns, slingshots, etc., have increased dramatically in recent years. Toy-related eye injuries account for most injuries (almost 20 percent) around the holidays. Do not purchase toys that have sharp edges or toys that can cause serious eye injury or even blindness in children. Always buy age appropriate gifts for kids. Buy eye protection gear if it is necessary for some toys.
In many places, Christmas and New Year celebrations are incomplete without the fireworks. While the display of fireworks can be extremely mesmerising and beautiful, they come with numerous risks if they are not handled properly.
The sale of fireworks is banned in Australia, except on a single day in the Northern Territory and under tight controls in Tasmania. There is, however, a black market for fireworks which concerns Australian authorities.
The safest way to enjoy fireworks is by attending only the professional fireworks displays.
For most people, the celebrations and social gatherings would be incomplete without popping out the cork and enjoying some bubbly. But when it’s time to open the bottle, remember to keep eye safety in mind.
Hold the cork down when you are removing the wire wrapped around the cork. You can prevent the champagne from spraying or the cork from flying by using a towel and pointing it away from yourself and others in the room.
When you are ready, hold the bottle at about a 45-degree angle and gently pull the cork out.
If you are travelling during the holidays, make sure you give your eyes some rest — especially if you have to drive long distances. If it’s possible, divide the drive time with others instead of driving all on your own the entire way. Also use an air conditioner to avoid fatigue and to stay alert.
If you wear contact lenses, make sure you don’t wear them while swimming. Keep them clean at all times and clean the lens case regularly. Avoid extended wear as it can lead to dryness and eye infection. If you do not want the hassles of maintaining contact lenses or glasses during the holiday season, you can opt for LASIK surgery as it is a permanent solution with numerous benefits.
There is no doubt that you will dress up for the festivities but as the night comes to an end, make sure you take off your eye makeup carefully before hitting the sack. Do not share your eye makeup with anyone and change it every three months to avoid eye infection. Make sure you give your eyes sufficient rest.
The adage ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds true on almost every occasion. Take necessary precautions during the holiday season and don’t let injuries get in the way. Gather your friends and family and celebrate to the fullest but be safe.
Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK. Aaron loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.