September is named by PBA as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month

September 1, 2009

One in five at-home eye injuries are due to home repair or power tools according to results from the ?Sixth Annual Eye Injury Snapshot? by the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma.

Chicago-One in five at-home eye injuries are due to home repair or power tools according to results from the “Sixth Annual Eye Injury Snapshot” by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Society of Ocular Trauma (ASOT).

In light of these findings, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has declared September as Home Eye Safety Awareness Month in an effort to urge the public to take precautions in protecting their eyes to avoid painful and potentially blinding eye accidents.

Every year, there are more than 2.5 million eye injuries; yet, the use of protective eyewear could have prevented 90% of these injuries. When starting any project, whether it is cleaning surfaces with chemicals, working on the car or doing yard work, PBA asks everyone to wear eyewear approved by the American National Standards Institute. The eyewear should have the “Z-87” logo stamped on the frames and can be purchased at hardware stores and home building centers.

“Serious eye injuries can be avoided by simply using the proper eye protection,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and chief executive officer of PBA. “Adults must make their eye health a priority by consistently practicing good eye protection habits not only for their own sake but as an example to children.”

Another statistic from the 2009 AAO and ASOT’s findings was the increase in the number of children who suffered eye injuries. According to the new data, children aged 12 years or fewer represented one in five injuries, a significant increase over the previous 5-year survey average of 15.5%.

PBA offers these tips on how to protect children’s eyes at home:

Teach children not to run around with forks, knives, combs, or toothbrushes.

Keep detergents, cleaning supplies, nail polish remover, mouthwash, and makeup in locked cabinets or out of reach.

Set a good example by wearing eye protection when using ammonia-based cleaning supplies or while working on projects.

Do not allow young children to use combs, brushes, or hairspray unless you watch or help them.

Prompt others who enter the work area to wear eye protection.

If you wear prescription glasses, many safety glasses or goggles will fit over your regular glasses. Ask your doctor what he or she recommends.

For more information call PBA at 800/331-2020 or visit www.preventblindness.org.