Edit: This was written before COVID-19 altered the way we interact within our communities and social lives. Please follow your local COVID-19 guidelines and practice social distancing when applicable.
Let’s go ahead and get the shell-shock out of the way here: October. Now that you’ve thought about Halloween, fall, cooler weather, and the like… hopefully I can grab your attention. I truly don’t blame you for being distracted– it’s an incredible month that kicks off the best portion of the calendar year: the holidays. But we can’t daydream about that for long, because here at Trial Runners, we’re kind of nerds.
October is the start of Home Eye Safety Month! Don’t panic– similar to the 4th of July blog, this isn’t going to be a “You’ll poke your eye out!” sort of article. We hope to avoid some of the mundane tips, and provide usable, practical content. Here are 3 quick (but important) tips on how to preserve your eyesight, especially during the start of the holiday season.
All medical content reviewed by Drug Safety Associate Patience Biesiot, RN, BSN.
Don’t Clean (okay that’s a lie)
Sorry to get your hopes up, but bear with me.
Imagine this all-too-real scenario:
You’re sitting at home on a nice chilly Saturday when all of the sudden, you get a phone call. After a few minutes of chit chat, you learn that you have guests coming over later that day. Maybe they’re just dropping by, or maybe they’re staying a few days. Either way, you decide that you’ll clean.
Holidays often incite guest visits, whether it’s someone visiting your home or vice versa. Many people clean in anticipation of visitors, which is completely fine and makes sense. But, the main reason we include this tip, is the chemicals involved with cleaning. When using a cleaning product, make sure to read the warning labels on the back. Many labels suggest using at least gloves and a pair of safety glasses. Many household cleaners — even though they smell like the Bahamas — could actually do some damage to your eye. Also worth noting: NEVER MIX CHEMICALS. Mixing chemicals can go beyond eye damage, and can cause hospitalization and even death.
You’re smart. We know that because you’re reading our blog. Use your better judgment.
Tidy Up (all about the details)
While this ties into the cleaning portion above, it definitely deserves its own section. This is less about the chemicals, and more about the home environment itself. According to www.aao.org, “nearly half of all eye injuries each year occur in and around the home”.
Set yourself up for success– make sure there’s no details that could cause a mishap. Go through your home and analyze it if need be. Thanks to the holidays, your home may have more foot traffic than ever. Have a rug that’s prone to tripping people? Address it. It’s easier to prevent an injury, eye or not, if the accident doesn’t occur.
Your guests may not thank you for it, but it’s still worth doing.
Cook with Care
The Holidays are on the horizon, meaning food will soon envelop every event you attend. While cooking doesn’t bring to mind many eye injuries, it can still happen. Maybe you don’t need safety glasses for that dough you’re kneading– but when you start involving hot oil, some precautions should be taken. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “An estimated $15 million in property damage, 60 injuries and five deaths each year in the U.S. can be attributed to use of a turkey fryer”.
Here are some general safety tips for using oil:
- Make sure the oil can’t fall or tip over
- Always follow the fryer’s instructions for use
- Keep children and pets as far away from oil and fryers as possible
- Most importantly, wear goggles or a face shield, always wear oven mitts when handling oil, and keep an “ABC” or grease fire extinguisher nearby. Do not attempt to extinguish oil fires with water.
The holidays are often crazy– don’t let the fast pace lead to an injury. As we continue to get closer and closer to Halloween, make sure to prioritize your health in any way you can. While we could never provide a list showcasing every possible threat, using your better judgment could preserve your eyesight for many years to come.