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Ordinary Chores Cause Half of All Eye Injuries

September is vision safety awareness month, and group offers tips to prevent accidents

FRIDAY, Sept. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Almost 40 percent of eye injuries happen to people doing yard work or gardening at home, yet few people think about wearing eye protection during these times.

And half of all eye injuries occur doing everyday chores, including cleaning, cooking, yard and garage work, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Prevent Blindness America, a volunteer eye health and safety organization, has dubbed September "Home Eye Safety Awareness Month."

"All too often, when we're working around the house and doing chores that we've done a thousand times before without incident, we forget about the risks we take by not protecting our eyes," said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America. "But all it takes is one split-second accident that could damage your vision for a lifetime."

Prevent Blindness America recommends that every household purchase from their local hardware store at least one pair of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved eyewear (it should have a Z-87 logo stamped on the frames) and follow these tips:

  • Wear safety glasses with side protection or goggles when mowing or using a weed eater or power cutting tools, like saws or trimmers.
  • Check your yard and remove debris before mowing.
  • Turn off power tools when near an unprotected bystander, especially young children. Bystanders and helpers should have eye protection when tools are in use.
  • Wear goggles to protect your eyes from fertilizers, pesticides and other yard chemicals, including lime dust.
  • Read and follow all product instructions. Obey warnings on yard chemicals and equipment.
  • Wear eye protection when using any chemical. After any project, wash hands thoroughly before touching the eyes or face.

More information

Prevent Blindness America has more about eye safety in the home.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: Prevent Blindness America, news release, Sept. 3, 2008

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