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Watch Out for Household Hazards

Protect your eyes against injury from products around the home

FRIDAY, May 14, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Common household products caused an estimated 125,000 eye injuries treated at hospital emergency rooms in the United States in 2002.

And many more eye injuries caused by household products were probably never reported, says Prevent Blindness America (PBA).

Ninety percent of eye injuries caused by household products are preventable.

"Items that are used everyday by millions of people and taken for granted can be potentially blinding if proper safety measures are not followed, especially with young children," PBA spokesman Daniel D. Garrett said in a prepared statement.

Bleaches are at the top of a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission list of items that cause eye injuries, followed by: general purpose cleaners; bathroom fixtures/products; paper/cardboard products; pens and pencils; yard and garden tools; kitchen (flatware, dishes, glasses); furniture; cleaning and polishing products.

People aged 25 and younger account for more than half of all product-related eye injuries, while those between the ages of 25 and 44 account for another third. Males are twice as likely as females to suffer eye injuries. Children who are left to play alone are also at risk for eye injuries.

Overall, nearly a million Americans have lost their sight to an eye injury.

PBA says you can prevent eye injuries at home by:

  • Knowing the dangers,
  • Taking action to remove hazards,
  • Wearing proper eye protection.

More information

Prevent Blindness America offers a home eye safety checklist.

SOURCE: Prevent Blindness America, news release, May 2004
Consumer News