Promoting Excellence in Maryland's Trauma Care

A collaborative statewide approach to address issues
related to all aspects of trauma care delivery

Eye Safety & Injury Prevention for the Holidays

To celebrate the holiday season safely, check out these tips for ways to prevent eye injuries:

Holiday Decorating

  • Place fragile ornaments higher up on the tree above child-friendly ornaments.
  • Keep children away from broken shards of glass.
  • When cleaning up a broken glass ornament, wear gloves and wash your hands afterward to help prevent foreign objects from getting into your eyes.
  • Take care with pine needles, found on wreaths and trees, which can pose as a threat to the eye.


  • Be careful with knives, forks, scissors and sharp objects.
  • Use a grease shield or have a lid on the pan/pot to prevent hot cooking oil and simmering sauces from splashing out and into your eye.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after preparing spicy foods or wear gloves to prevent spicy residues from sticking to fingers and ending up in your eye.

Toys & Gifts

  • Avoid toys with parts that are sharp, protruding, or potentially hazardous such as toys with projectile parts (airsoft guns, BB guns) which could cause eye injuries.
  • Supervise children while they are playing.
  • Check toy labels for age recommendations; keep toys made for older children away from younger children.
  • When gifting sports equipment, include gifting of appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses, as well.

About 10% of children’s eye injuries resulting in emergency department visits are caused by toys.  Corneal abrasions (scratches on the front of the eye) and hyphema (bleeding in the front of the eye) are commonly reported injuries while retinal detachment and open globe are more severe types of injuries.


  • When raising a toast to the New Year, tap glasses carefully to prevent glass from breaking.
  • Chill champagne in the fridge or on ice to prevent the bottle from opening unexpectedly as champagne bubbles expand when warm.
  • When opening champagne bottles, point the bottle 45 degrees downward away from yourself and others. Hold the cork down when removing the wire wrapping and then gently pull the cork out to prevent flying corks.

If you or your child sustains an eye injury during the holidays, go to the emergency department immediately to prevent delays in medical attention which could result in permanent vision loss or blindness.

Severe open globe injury involving the cornea in a 6-year old from a toy arrow.

Blog submitted by:

Fasika Woreta

Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Residency Program Director, Director of the Eye Trauma Center

Wilmer Eye Institute (Johns Hopkins Medicine)

Brittany Tsou

MD Candidate

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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