Summertime Brings Increased Risk for Eye Injuries at Home

Summertime Brings Increased Risk for Eye Injuries at Home

Vision and Home Safety Experts Release New Issue Brief on Best Practices for Protecting Eyes at Home

Alexandria, VA (June 29, 2010) - Summer is one of the busiest times of year for home improvements yet many Americans fail to take the proper precautions to protect their eyes from potential harm. Today, The Vision Council announced the release of a new issue brief, Eye Safety At-a-Glance Protecting Your Vision at Home, about the importance of protecting their eyes when working around the house or in the yard. The effort is in conjunction with the Home Safety Council.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 1.5 million eye injuries in the United States occur annually in the home. Despite the fact that 90 percent of these injuries could be prevented by using protective eyewear, a recent survey by the American Optometric Association showed that only 35 percent of people wear protective eyewear at home.

Eye injuries at home are more common than people may think, with more than 50 percent of all eye injuries occurring in and around the home, said Ed Greene, CEO of The Vision Council. Surveys show that few people wear protective eyewear at home that is why The Vision Council has partnered with the Home Safety Council to create this informative booklet.

The nonprofit Home Safety Council, an organization focused on preventing injury at home, reminds consumers that preventing eye injuries begins with basic safety practices. Many common household items like cleaners, garden tools and power tools pose a risk to the eyes if not used safely, said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. Keeping safety glasses handy, and making it a habit to use them, can be the difference between successfully completing a project and a trip to the emergency room.

Eye injuries in the home can be prevented by taking the following steps.

  • Keep a pair or two of protective glasses around the house in places that will remind you to wear them, for example on your workbench or in the shed near your gardening and lawn equipment. Protective eyewear can be purchased at hardware stores and building centers or in your local eye care providers' office.
  • Remind family members to put on safety glasses when starting a project. It is especially important to model this behavior in front of children so they learn to use eye protection.
  • Always read the labels on solvents, chemicals and cleaners carefully. Never mix products.
  • Maintain your tools and equipment in good working condition.
  • Check the lawn for debris that could potentially become projectiles before starting yard work.
  • Make sure your protective eyewear is lightweight, comfortable to wear and won't impede your work. You may consider getting prescription safety glasses for frequent use.
  • Look for protective eyewear that is approved by the American National Standards Institute. These will have Z-87 stamped on the frames and means the lenses have passed a special safety test.
  • Ensure that safety glasses are made of polycarbonate, a strong shatterproof plastic and should be 3mm thick. A plastic or polycarbonate frame will reduce the risk of injury from the frames themselves.

To view or download a copy of The Vision Council's Eye Safety At-a-Glance: Protecting Your Vision at Home issue brief, please visit www.thevisioncouncil.org/consumers.

For more information on vision protection in the home, please contact Maureen Beddis at (703) 740-9496 or mbeddis@thevisioncouncil.org; or Starla Stiles at (202) 745-5065 or sstiles@gymr.com.

Serving as the global voice for vision care products and services, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry. We position our members to be successful in a competitive marketplace through education, advocacy, consumer outreach, strategic relationship building and industry forums.

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes. The Home Safety Council is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.