The holidays are a time to reflect on the passing year and enjoy time with family and friends. The American Academy of Ophthalmology wants to make sure the fun isn’t spoiled by a toy or gift that causes injury. December has been designated as Safe Toys and Celebrations Month by Prevent Blindness America. The Academy supports this initiative with the caution that 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries that are treated in the emergency room are caused by toys. The Academy advises that parents and loved ones who will buy toys for young people to be cautious when choosing gifts during the holidays and throughout the year.
In choosing safe toys, avoid anything that launches projectiles, like BB guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns, darts and action figures that fire weapons. These toys have the potential to cause corneal abrasions, traumatic cataract, increased intraocular pressure or vision loss. To avoid eye injury, inspect any prospective toys before making your final choice. Avoid toys with sharp edges or points, or toys that look like they may be pulled apart or crushed easily, as broken parts can quickly become dangerous. Look for toys that have passed a safety inspection and are appropriate for the age and skill level of the child who will receive it. Parents should carefully inspect toys and gifts that their children receive to ensure they don’t pose a hazard. Sports equipment should be given with the appropriate protective eyewear that features polycarbonate lenses. As always, proper supervision ensures that toys for older children are kept out of the hands of little ones, and helps prevent injury from unsupervised misuse of toys or games.
For adults, special traditions like champagne corks and fireworks pose hazards of their own. The Academy reports that a cork can travel at speeds up to 50mph as it leaves the bottle, posing risk for serious injury, including blindness, bleeding and abrasions. To protect your eyesight and enhance the flavor of your champagne, chill it to 45 degrees. Champagne has countless bubbles filled with gas that expand when they get warm, increasing the pressure and the risk. When opening your chilled bottle, never shake the bottle or point it at anyone. Once you have torn off the foil, hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood. Now, place a towel over the top of the bottle and grasp the cork. Pointing the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself or any fellow partygoers, slowly twist the base of the bottle while grasping the cork to break the seal. As the cork breaks free, slight downward pressure will create a safe and festive pop.
When you need an ophthalmologist to treat an eye injury, diagnose disease, or correct your vision, you can count on Alpine Eye Care. We are the leading eye care center in Northern Michigan, providing comprehensive eye care services for every member of your family–at every stage of life. We provide surgical procedures performed by the region’s only two board-certified eye surgeons at the hospital of your choice: Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital, Otsego Memorial Hospital or McLaren Northern Michigan-Cheboygan Community Medical Center. Call 1.877.733.2020 or schedule an appointment to learn more about our services. Let Alpine Eye Care be your partner in better vision for every member of your family.