December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month

The holidays are upon us! No matter which holiday you’re celebrating, December is a month to get together with loved ones to eat, drink and be merry! In some cases, you may even exchange gifts.

The holiday seasons can be a lot of fun with re-watching old movies and TV classics from your childhood. However, it’s important to remember not to throw safety out the door this month. You wouldn’t want to end the year with a trip to the emergency room and start the New Year with an eye injury.

We want you to have an enjoyable and safe holiday season. So, we’ve compiled a list of things to avoid this holiday season for maximum fun and minimal injury!

December is Safe Toys and Celebrations MonthSafe Toys

No one in their right mind would buy a child an unsafe toy. This isn’t the 70s. Nowadays, there are regulations in place to ensure that children’s toys are safe for play. The trouble arises when people buy gifts for children that are not intended for children.

Dangerous gifts for children that can harm their eyes include: BB guns, sling shots, bow and arrows, and darts. These gifts are hazardous to your children’s vision and the people around them.

Eye injuries are all too common around the holidays because of accidents relating to these toys. If you want your children to have fun with their gifts without a trip to the ER, you’ll avoid these gifts.

Eye injuries can range anywhere from mild to severe. They are painful and may require a long recovery time. In some cases, an eye injury may leave you or your child with permanent vision impairments such as myopia.

With all the toys available for children that have been approved by safety organizations there is no reason to give them dangerous gifts.

Safe Alcohol Consumption

This should be a no brainer this holiday season. Too many lives are lost every year due to driving under the influence. According to a 2015 study, 42 percent of all traffic accidents during the holiday season (around Christmas and New Year’s) are due to drunk driving. Be sure to assign a designated driver or take a cab home after your next Christmas party.

However, this is not the only reason you should avoid overdoing it on the drinking this holiday season. Alcohol can have negative effects on your long-term eye health.

A common symptom of being drunk is blurred and double vision. This is caused by the affect alcohol has on your brain. It slows your brain functions down which means that your brain isn’t interpreting the images being sent to it by the eyes quick enough or properly.

This can become permanent after long periods of excessive drinking. Sure, getting drunk one night won’t cause permanent vision damage, but it can over time.

Too much alcohol can also give you “tunnel vision”. We don’t mean metaphorically. Alcohol can affect your peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is essential to our survival. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to drive and perceive dangers from the side of your eyes.

Again, one night of too much drinking won’t make these conditions permanent, but they can become permanent over time. Remember to drink responsibly for yourself and others around you. Never get behind the wheel under the influence.

Winter Sports Safety

Planning a family ski trip? Going out for a romantic skate on a lake with your love? Planning a friendly ice hockey tournament for the neighborhood? These popular holiday activities are all fun and games until someone gets hurt.

Being safe while playing winter sports is not difficult. For sports like hockey and skiing, there is always a risk of getting objects in the eyes. A stick or a puck or a branch in the eye can cause irreversible damage to. It can cause bleeding and retinal detachment.

Wearing the proper eye protection is extremely important. Safety glasses or goggles are highly recommended. Because of the cold weather, look for safety eyewear that is temperature resistant and can withstand high impact. For full protection, look for glasses that wrap around the whole eye.

For sports with less chance of foreign objects in the eye, like skating, you’ll want eyewear that will protect your eyes from the sun. Yes, even in the winter time, the sun can still harm your eyes, so don’t put those sunglasses away so soon.

The sun bouncing off the snow can cause temporary snow blindness. This is extremely dangerous especially if you’re speeding down a hill on your skis or snowboard.

Safe Decorating

Nothing gets people more into the holiday spirit than decorations. Decorating the house with the family can make for some very special memories. However, decorating can become dangerous if you’re not careful. Just like that time your dad fell off the ladder, trying to get fancy with outdoor Christmas lights.

Unfortunately there isn’t much we can do to stop dads all over the country from taking the outdoor decorations a little too seriously. What we can do is offer some safety tips when it comes to buying the right types of decorations.

When shopping for lights, try to avoid glass lights. They break easily and can shatter once they get to be too old. The last thing you want is glass in the eye. That’s a sure-fire way to put a damper on your holiday season.

The same goes for glass ornaments. Yes, glass ornaments are the epitome of class, but they can also be very dangerous, especially around children. If you have glass ornaments that you can’t see yourself parting with, hang them in high places where they are out of your kid’s reach.

Fireworks Safety

Is a New Year’s celebration really a New Year’s celebration without a few fireworks?

Fireworks are a fun way to welcome in the New Year, but they can also be very dangerous. July 4th is the holiday that produces the most firework-related eye injuries, but New Year’s is a close second.

Much like choosing the right sport safety eyewear, you need to choose the right eyewear for fireworks viewing. Choose an eyewear (preferably goggles) that wrap around the whole eye, are resistant to heat, and that can resist high impact.

Have a safe and fun December and welcome in the New Year with health and good fortune! Happy Holidays!

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