The AAO recommends that every household contain at least one pair of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved eyewear. Commonly referred to as "safety glasses," this protective eyewear can prevent up to 90 percent of eye injuries. Safety glasses should have polycarbonate lenses, which are strong, lightweight and shatterproof. They should be worn while using power tools, rotary mowers, line lawn trimmers, or hammering on metal, and when using any chemical. (If you have good vision in only one eye, you should wear safety glasses to protect your good eye, even if you don't need glasses otherwise.) In addition to wearing protective eyewear, you can reduce the risk of eye injury for you and your family by following a few safety tips:
- Install safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs
- Cushion sharp corners and edges of furniture and fixtures
- Keep all chemicals and sprays out of the reach of small children
- Do not allow children to ignite fireworks
- Keep children indoors while lawn equipment is in use
- Select toys and games that are appropriate for your children's age and responsibility
- Supervise your children when they handle dangerous items, including pencils, scissors, forks and knives
- Discourage your children from playing with projectile toys such as dart, bows and arrows, and don't allow them to play with non-powder rifles, pellet or BB guns
- Set a good example by wearing protective eyewear when needed
If an accident does happen, have a medical doctor or ophthalmologist examine the eye as soon as possible. Some sight-threatening eye injuries do not immediately appear to be serious. It's always best to play it safe by seeking the opinion of a professional.
American Academy of Ophthalmology (AOA). Patient Education: Eye Safety in the Home. AOA, 2008.