With the summer months fast approaching, there are many celebrations to look forward to such as graduations, weddings, and the Fourth of July. While it is important to have fun at these events, it is also important to be safe.
For example at a wedding, you’re probably not thinking about eye damage. But a flying cork from a bottle of champagne can rupture an eyeball, cause a detached retina, dislocate the eye’s lens, or damage the orbital bone structure and more. Serious vision loss can result from these injuries. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, this happens more often with champagne and sparkling wine bottles that haven’t been fully chilled, causing the corks to come out much more forcefully. To prevent eye injury, follow these instructions provided by the Academy:
- Don’t shake the bottle before opening it, because this increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle.
- When opening a bottle, point the cork away from yourself and others.
- Place a towel over the cork, and keep your palm on the cork as you twist the bottle, rather than pushing under the cork.
Fireworks are another major cause of eye injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between June 21 and July 21, 2013, there were about 1,200 eye injuries. An estimated 40 percent of the injuries occurred in children younger than age 15, and 51 percent occurred in people under 20.
The eye injuries were caused mostly by sparklers and Roman candles. At least 100 were caused by public displays, another 100 by bottle rockets and 200 by unspecified fireworks. The eye injuries were mostly contusions, lacerations and foreign bodies in the eye, but many were burns as well.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers these safety tips for preventing eye injuries from fireworks:
- Never let children play with fireworks.
- Enjoy fireworks from a safe viewing distance.
- Don’t touch any unexploded fireworks remains.
If you do experience an eye injury, please seek your nearby eye doctor for immediate attention. Have a safe and fun summer!