The holidays are such a delicious time of year! What better way to describe the smorgasbord of food, lights, gifts and fellowship with family and friends? Unfortunately, people often overlook the many dangers lurking behind all this fun. So print this list of Safety Tips for you and your family’s eyes and post it where it can be read. It may be a sight saver and save a trip to the emergency room!

• Be careful when lighting candles. Sometimes they flare up when the lighter hits the wick and a wisp of smoke or flame literally jumps into the air. Always hold the candle away from your face.

• If you live in a part of the country that gets snow, sleet and ice invest in a pair of glare-free glasses. Glare can damage your eyes and/or cause brief blindness. If you are driving or even walking in the snow use sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection, are polarized and cover your eyes completely from just under your eyebrows to under your bottom lashes.

• If you celebrate the holidays with champagne or another corked beverage be safe when opening it. Turn the bottle away from your own face and that of your guests. Countless eye injuries have occurred when the cork pops in the wrong direction and ends up hitting someone!

• Holiday trees are not only traditional, they give the home a sense of warmth and completeness. But, whether the tree is real or fake the branches often have needles that can fall off and end up in your eyes or a pet’s. Remember to treat your tree with some respect for your own vision. Don’t lean in too close when adding lights and ornaments and regularly sweep the home for fallen needles.

• Read and follow all directions on children’s toys. Many have small parts or electronics that could cause eye injuries without proper supervision. In fact, make sure to buy age-appropriate toys.

Finally, be careful when purchasing glass ornaments. They often can break into hundreds of tiny shards that can find their way into the eyes of loved ones and pets. While beautiful, glass ornaments can cause injuries.

For more holiday tips on proper eye safety, contact the experts at Island Eyecare. We care for your eyes.