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Holiday Eye Safety

As the Holiday shopping season approaches, Today's Vision wants you to think safety when choosing toys. No one chooses gifts with the intent to harm, but some popular children's toys can cause serious eye injuries. In fact, children receive all sorts of presents that are potentially unsafe for their eyes. These include innocuous-appearing toys such as a popgun or paddleball set.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, are more than 250,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year. Forty-five percent of those injuries occurred to the head and face area (head, face, eye, mouth, and ear) in children under age 15.

  • Select toys that are appropriate for the child's age, abilities and parents' willingness to supervise the child's use of the toy.
  • Avoid projectile toys such as darts, bows and arrows, and missile-firing toys.
  • Look for toys marked with "ASTM", which means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
  • If you plan to give sports equipment, provide appropriate protective gear, such as helmets or protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses.

Adults should also safeguard their eyes when putting up trees and holiday decorations, as well as when opening champagne bottles. A cork can fly up to 50 miles per hour as it leaves the bottle. Anything that travels with such momentum can have a devastating impact if it strikes your eye.

Here are tips to safely open a bottle of champagne:

  • Chill the champagne to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.
  • Don't shake the bottle. Shaking increases your chances of eye injury.
  • To open the bottle safely, hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood. Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and from any bystanders.
  • Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
  • Keep the bottle at a 45-degree angle as you slowly and firmly twist the bottle while holding the cork to break the seal.
  • Continue to hold the cork while twisting the bottle until the cork is almost out of the neck.
  • Counter the force of the cork using slight downward pressure just as the cork breaks free from the bottle.