August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Thousands of children suffer eye injuries each year.
Many children sustain permanent damage to their vision. Over 90% of these injuries are preventable if parents understand the potential dangers.
Keep reading to learn more about how to protect your children from eye injuries this August!
Children can be injured in the home in several ways. These could be by falling, playing with toys, or everyday objects like forks, knives, pens, and pencils. Almost anything can become dangerous to a child in the right circumstances.
We recommend that parents take these simple precautions:
- Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs to prevent falls.
- Provide handrails and make sure there is adequate lighting.
- Store desk supplies and toiletry products out of the reach of small children.
- Install cabinet door and drawer locks in kitchens and bathrooms.
- Cushion sharp corners and edges on furniture and fixtures whenever possible.
- Store paints, pesticides and other chemicals out of children’s reach.
- Supervise children doing arts and crafts projects with paint, glue, and/or scissors.
Teaching children how to use toys and educating them about safety is very important. Young children should be carefully supervised when playing with indoor and outdoor toys. Here are some specific safeguards to follow:
- Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, and dangerous edges.
- Read instructions and warnings before allowing your child to play with a new toy.
- Avoid flying toys or toys that fire projectiles.
- Buy toys that are appropriate for your child’s age and abilities.
- Keep small children away from older children’s toys.
- Always keep BB and pellet guns away from children. They are not toys.
- Look for the letters ASTM when purchasing toys. This indicates that toys have met a national safety standard.
It can be easy to forget that your children’s eyes need protection from the sun’s harmful rays. Your child may not complain about glare or discomfort.
UV radiation can cause eye sunburn, as well as damage to the cornea or lens. Children should wear hats with a brim as well as sunglasses labeled “100% UV protection”.
This should be the case whenever they are outside in the sun or haze. Glasses that shatter are very dangerous, so only buy sunglasses that are shatterproof.
Remember that UV exposure can also occur when skiing in the wintertime!
Eye protection from UV rays is as important as sunscreen.
Get children into the habit of protecting their eyes at a young age. Sun damage is something that will accumulate throughout their lives.
Older children and teens are especially vulnerable to serious eye injuries from sports. Baseball is the leading cause of eye injuries in children ages 5-14.
Besides being struck by a ball, they can get hit with a hockey stick or smacked by someone’s elbow in basketball. If your children play baseball, basketball, hockey, racket sports, or martial arts, they need protective eyewear.
Polycarbonate lenses are the best option. These lenses are 10 times more impact resistant than other glasses or sunglasses.
Certain sports may need extra safety equipment, such as baseball or hockey faceguards. As a parent, you can insist that your children wear adequate eye protection. This is true even if it’s not required.
Need to schedule an eye exam for you or your family? Contact VisionFirst Eye Center in Birmingham, AL today!