News Releases

December 6, 2017
Media contact: Leigh DeLozier, (404) 778-3711, leigh.delozier@emory.edu

Remember Eye Safety When Shopping This Holiday Season

(ATLANTA) Thousands of emergency department visits during the holidays each year are due to toy-related injuries, with nearly half being to the head or face. Lessen the chances of an ER visit with children or grandchildren by paying attention to toys and other gifts that could lead to eye injuries – and what you can do to help lower risk. In an effort to help you enjoy the holidays safely, the care team at Emory Eye Center shares six eye safety tips for you and your family:

toys 1.  Wear correct eye protection at work and at home, especially when working with chemicals or power tools or when working on hobbies or other projects with small pieces of material. “If there is a chance that debris or particles could fly into your eyes, be sure to wear eye protection with side safety shields," says Emily Graubart, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and interim director of comprehensive services at the Emory Eye Center. "Keep a pair of ANSI Z87.1 safety glasses in your home for use when tackling projects at home.”

2. If you’re buying sports equipment, don’t forget helmets and eye safety gear, especially for activities involving small balls like racquetball. “Recreational players of racquetball, hockey, lacrosse, paintball, and even baseball should wear eye protection,” Dr. Graubart says.

3. Check to verify that toys such as chemistry sets or woodworking kits include protective eyewear. If they don’t, buy a pair of glasses with polycarbonate lenses.

4. Be careful with toys that have projectiles or sharp, protruding parts, and teach children how to handle them safely. Injuries from darts, arrows, guns and similar objects can lead to permanent eye damage or even vision loss.

5. Think twice about toys or other devices with a laser or bright light. Bright lights such as those from high-powered flashlights can cause temporary vision loss and lead to falling or another accident. Do not let children play with laser pointers, either; the light intensity can cause permanent vision loss if the laser is shone in someone’s eyes. “Even though laser pointers are supposed to be rated for safety, many of them do not comply with safety regulations,” says Amy Hutchinson, MD, professor of ophthalmology at Emory University School of Medicine and interim director of pediatric ophthalmology services for Emory Eye Center. Do your homework before purchasing any laser pointers or laser light toys.

6. Leave celebratory fireworks displays to the professionals. "Fireworks cause some of the most devastating eye injuries, including chemical burns and open globe injuries which can lead to blindness," says Dr. Graubart. Bystanders can also sustain injuries, so stay at least 500 feet away from fireworks.

Having regular eye exams is another way to promote eye safety and learn about issues that could affect your vision. To schedule a visit with one of the Emory Eye Center's optometrists,
call 404-778-2020.

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The Emory Eye Center has long been a clinical, scientific and academic leader for eye care. Ophthalmologists, optometrists and other eye care professionals treat individuals of all ages who need care ranging from general examinations to treatment of complex disorders. Scientists at Emory are researching the causes of and improved treatments for macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, genetic eye diseases and more. Innovative treatments, groundbreaking research and personalized care have earned Emory Eye Center the respect of patients and providers alike.

 


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