August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month and today we are going to be looking at children’s eye health, prevention and care.
Participating in sports, recreation or even just working or playing at home, it’s good to know eye safety practices and use protective glasses as appropriate. Every year thousands of children sustain eye damage or even blindness from accidents at home, at play or in the car. More than 90 percent of all eye injuries can be prevented through use of suitable protective eyewear.
Particular attention should be given to children who play sports! Eye injuries occur often in children that are young athletes between the ages of 5 and 14.
Children’s Eye Health Prevention
Your first and best defense against injury is being prepared.Follow these tips:
- Children should wear sports eye protectors made with polycarbonate lenses for sports that have physical contact or flying objects.
- Keep chemicals and sprays out of reach of young children.
- Parents, Caregivers, Teachers and other who provide supervision to children should practice the safe use and distribution of items that may cause eye injury, like rubber bands, paper clips, scissors, etc.
- Teach your children about eye safety and why its important.
- Only purchase age-appropriate toys and games.
- Check for toys marked by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) to make sure they meets national safety standards.
- Use safety gates if necessary at both the top and bottom of stairs, pad sharp corners and lock all drawers and cabinets within children’s reach.
- Do not allow your children to play with non-powder rifles, pellet guns or BB guns. They are extremely dangerous and have been reclassified as firearms and removed from toy departments.
- Do not allow children anywhere near fireworks, especially bottle rockets. These fireworks pose a serious risk of eye injury and have been banned in several states.
- When very small children (age 4 and younger) are bitten by dogs, eye injuries occur about 15 percent of the time. The dog is usually one the child is familiar with, and second attacks by the same dog are likely to cause more serious injury. It is recommended that any dog that bites a child be removed from the household.
- On the road, make sure children are properly secured in baby carriers and child safety seats and that the seat and shoulder belts fit well. Children age 12 and younger should never ride in the front seat. Store loose items in the trunk or secured on the floor, as any loose object can become a dangerous projectile in a crash.
Children’s Eye Health Care
A primary care doctor, school nurse or children’s health service should examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor at first, as a serious injury is not always immediately obvious. Delaying medical attention can cause the damaged areas to worsen and could result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
While seeking medical help, care for the child as follows:
- DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
- DO NOT try to remove any object stuck in the eye. For small debris, lift eye lid and ask child to blink rapidly to see if tears will flush out the particle. If not, close the eye and seek treatment.
- Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
- A cut or puncture wound should be gently covered.
- Only in the event of chemical exposure, flush with plenty of water.
Be sure to seek medical attention promptly if your child receives and eye injury to be safe.
For more helpful eye care and vision care tips, please visit our main blog page.