Safe Toys and Celebration Month
"You'll shoot your eye out kid!"
Those familiar with the 1983 Christmas movie, A Christmas Story, set in the 40s, know that all Ralphie Parker wanted for Christmas was not his two front teeth but none other than an "Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!" Throughout the movie, nine-year-old Ralphie is determined to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.
To his frustration, the candid response to his wish was "You'll shoot your eye out!" However, Santa came through and Ralphie's first experience with his Red Ryder BB Gun was indeed...an eye injury! (Well, technically, his eye was saved by his glasses!)
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 250,000 toy-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Nearly half of these injuries affect the head or face, including the eyes! Be certain the gifts under the tree are age-appropriate and follow these guildelines recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
What is approximately 1 inch in diameter, weighs an average of 9 grams, and can fly up to 50 mph?
A Champagne Cork! If you took part in our Christmas Challenge last year, you know that a champagne cork can fly up to 50 miles per hour! Although on it's own corks typically weigh only 9 grams, if the cork hits someones eye with such force, a devasting eye injury could ocur. Follow these tips from the American Academy of Ophthalmology on how to open a bottle of champagne safely:
- Chill sparkling wine and champagne to 45 degrees or colder before opening. The cork of a warm bottle of champagne is more likely to pop unexpectantly.
- Don't shake the bottle! Shaking increases the speed at which the cork leaves the bottle which will cause a devastating injury if a bystander is hit in the eye.
- Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from your self and any bystanders. Hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood on the bottle.
- Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.
- Twist the bottle while holding the cork at a 45-degree angle to break the seal. Counter the force of the cork using downward pressure as the cork breaks free from the bottle. Never use your thumbs to open the bottle.
Treatment for Eye Injuries
Should an eye injury occur causing pain or redness, seek immediate medical attention. Flush the eye with water if a chemical has come in contact with the eye. If a projectile is in the eye, do not try to remove it. Even a seemingly light blow can cause a serious eye injury. If the person shows signs of discoloring around the eye or experiences pain or vision impairment, immediate medical assistance is indicated. Click here to see Dr. Mangano's Saint Francis Medical Minute on Common Eye Injuries.