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Eye Health Center

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Nearly Half of Eye Injuries Occur at Home

Wearing Eyewear Could Prevent Most Eye Injuries, Groups Say

Hurt on the Fourth of July continued...

Experts warn that even the most benign fireworks pose a risk, especially to young children.

Many injuries to children are caused by sparklers, which burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees -- hot enough to melt some metals.

Half of all eye injuries from fireworks occur in children, and as many as one in four of these injuries result in permanent vision loss.

"No one should go from a backyard celebration to the emergency room with firework-related injuries," CPSC acting chairman Nancy Nord says in a news statement. "Using only legal fireworks and using them correctly is an important step toward celebrating safely."

Some CPSC tips for safe celebration include:

  • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
  • Avoid fireworks that come in plain brown paper packages. This is a sign that they were made for professional use and could pose a risk to non-professionals.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over fireworks when lighting the fuse.
  • Never try to re-light or pickup fireworks that don't go off.
  • Never point or throw fireworks at others.
  • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
  • Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy.

Dangers in the Home

Bungee cords, frying pans, and lawn and household chemicals are just a few of the everyday items responsible for eye injuries within the home.

A survey released Wednesday by AAO/ASOT showed that most people underestimate their at-home risks.

Most survey respondents perceive eye disease to be a more significant threat to their vision than injury, but each year, 50,000 Americans permanently lose all or part of their vision because of injury.

One-fourth of eye injuries occur in children and teens, and half of injuries occurred in people between the ages of 18 and 45. Nearly half of eye injuries (44%) happen in the home, and 15% of injuries occur in the workplace.

Though two-thirds of survey respondents said they owned protective eyewear, 30% of these people said they did not consistently use the eyewear when doing home repairs or projects.

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