A recent CNIB survey – released as part of Vision Health Month – revealed that each year an estimated 720,000 Canadians sustain an eye injury that requires medical attention.
“Many people think eye injuries only happen in industrial settings – where machines or chemicals are involved,” said Dr. Keith Gordon, CNIB’s Vice-President of Research. “But in reality, over two thirds of eye injuries occur outside of a work setting.”
Eye injuries are some of the most frequently treated accidents in hospital emergency rooms. CNIB’s study also estimated that about 100,000 people each year lose time off work as a result of an eye injury.
“Eye injuries can cause serious vision loss or even blindness, but most can be prevented,” added Dr. Gordon. “People really need to think about protecting their eyes better not only at work, but also at home and while playing sports.”
Eye injuries that cause permanent vision loss impact not only the person affected but their family and friends, too.
Canadians can do their part to minimize the significant social and personal costs associated with eye injuries by taking simple steps to protect their eyes at home, at work and at play. In addition to always wearing sunglasses, protective goggles or other eyewear, Canadians can follow the tips below to help protect their eyes from common hazards.
• Read and follow instructions when using chemicals
• Point spray nozzles away from you
• Use grease shields on frying pans
• Turn your face away when uncorking soda or champagne style bottles
• Pick up rocks and stones before mowing the lawn
• Trim low-hanging branches on trees in your yard
• Teach children how to safely handle knives, scissors and pencils
• Keep harsh chemicals, spray cans and glues out of a child’s reach
• Read and follow safety instructions before using tools and chemicals
• Know the location of eyewash stations and First Aid equipment and how to use them
• Select toys and games suitable for a child’s age
• Avoid toys that could be used as projectiles, such as darts, pellet guns and arrows
• Only allow certified professionals to handle fireworks
To learn more about eye safety and injury prevention, visit cnib.ca/eyesafety
For more information, please contact:
Erika Bennett, Public Relations Specialist
(416) 486-2500 ext. 8355