Take that Extra Moment

Home accidents rise every year during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday season resulting in eye injury and more. Holiday mishaps and tragedies involve house fires, sledding accidents, falls while decorating, chemical exposure, dangerous toys, and even fireworks.

However, “If everyone would just take an extra moment when doing a task, there would be far less injuries,” says Brian Kuglich of The National Safety Council. Let’s take that extra moment now and consider ways to prevent the holiday accidents when decorating, gift giving, and celebrating that most likely to cause eye injuries to both adults and children.

Eye Injury while Decorating

From Christmas trees to spray snow, holiday decorations may be festive but still represent the potential for serious injury. Wearing eye protection and using common sense goes a long way in preventing festive decorations from causing serious injury.

  • Decorating a tree becomes risky when an unsteady stand meets a wobbly ladder. Have a partner hold the ladder to prevent a forward fall into the tree, a face-full of pine needles and branches, and a potentially painful eye injury.
  • When untying your live tree, wear eye protection since long branches can burst out unexpectedly and scratch your eyes and face. Children should always stand a safe distance away when a fresh tree is untied as well.
  • Avoiding sharp and breakable decorations. Children are curious about shiny decorations and don’t always understand how to handle them delicately.
  • Spun glass (angel hair) can scratch eyes, so be sure to corral any stray strands.
  • Bubble lights contain hot liquid that can burn eyes and skin, so keep children from playing with these lights.
  • Only use spray snow labeled “nontoxic,” and wear safety glasses while spraying. Have your children wear child-sized safety glasses if they’re near the spray-decorating.

Toys and Eye Injury

Sporting equipment is a popular holiday gift but is often given without the proper safety accessories. In fact, propulsion toys like BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns, slingshots, etc. cause almost 20% of all eye injuries around the holidays. Use the following tips when giving these types of gifts:

  • Be cautious who receives such gifts. Make sure they are age appropriate.
  • Make sure proper supervision and maturity accompany using any of these types of toys.
  • Give proper eye protection with the gift.

Eye Injury from Fireworks

While many only consider fireworks for the 4th of July, they are actually used in many cultures during Christmas and New Year’s festivities. For example, Hawaiians use fireworks to ring in the New Year, and Nicaraguans set off fireworks as part of their Christmas celebrations.  In the Polish culture, people attend winter sleigh parties complete with dancing and fireworks, and Muslim’s celebrate Eid with fireworks displays.

Attend only professional fireworks displays if possible. If fireworks are used at home, keep the following tips in mind.

  • Fireworks should only be used by an adult wearing protective safety glasses since almost 20% of fireworks-related injuries affect the eyes.
  • Only let off fireworks in a secure area and far enough away from family and friends to prevent injury since nearly half of all fireworks-related eye injuries happen to bystanders.
  • Pay special attention to children during fireworks displays since most injuries occur in children under the age of 16 who are unaware of the potential dangers.

Knowing Fireworks Eye Safety Tips and being aware of 4th of July Safety Resources also helps you safely enjoy fireworks any time of year.

Know What to Do

Have fun with your family and friends this holiday season. Deck the halls, light the lights, and enjoy the fireworks. Keep the holidays jolly by wearing proper eye protection and knowing what to do if an eye injury does occur. Take the extra moment to be safe, so you can have many more joyous moments with your friends and family.