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Eye Injuries - Prevention

The following tips may help prevent eye injuries.

  • Wear safety glasses, goggles, or face shields when you hammer nails or metal, work with power tools or chemicals, or do any activity that might cause a burn to your eyes. If you work with hazardous chemicals that could splash into your eyes, know how to flush chemicals out, and know the location of the nearest shower or sink.
  • If you are welding or are near someone else who is welding, wear a mask or goggles designed for welding.
  • Wear protective eyewear during sports such as hockey, racquetball, or paintball that involve the risk of a blow to the eye. Baseball is the most common sport to cause eye injuries. Fishhook injuries are another common cause of eye injuries. Protective eyewear can prevent sports-related eye injuries more than 90% of the time. An eye examination may be helpful in determining what type of protective eyewear is needed.
  • Injuries from ultraviolet (UV) light can be prevented by wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) rays and by wearing broad-brimmed hats. Be aware that the eye can be injured from sun glare during boating, sunbathing, or skiing. Use eye protection while you are under tanning lamps or using tanning booths. Laser pointers have not been shown to cause eye injury.
  • Wear your seat belt when in a motor vehicle. Use child car seats.

Prevention tips for children

Eye injuries are common in children, and many can be prevented. Most eye injuries happen in older children. They happen more often in boys than in girls. Toys—from crayons to toy guns—are a major source of injury, so check all toys for sharp or pointed parts. Household items, such as elastic cords, can also strike the eye and cause injury.

Teach your children about eye safety.

  • Be a good role model—always wear proper eye protection.
  • Get protective eyewear for your children, and help them use it properly.
  • Teach children that flying toys should never be pointed at another person.
  • Teach children how to carry sharp or pointed objects properly.
  • Teach children that any kind of missile, projectile, or BB gun is not a toy.
  • Use safety measures near fires and explosives, such as campfires and fireworks.

Any eye injury that appears unusual for a child's age should be evaluated as possible child abuse.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 23, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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