Hurray, the yuletide is here again! It’s the season of celebration for families and friends marked with several memorable activities the world over. As always, preparations have begun in earnest for most people with the usual decorations that colour our streets, offices and houses making them look glamorous for the season. In the usual fashion, this yuletide would be laden with displays of Christmas trees, lights and its attendant decorations; gifts and presents, foods and drinks, fireworks, outings and activities to make the season worthwhile.

As we bask in the euphoria of the celebration of the yuletide, it is pertinent we remind ourselves of the safety of our eyes and indeed our health. Studies have shown that a significant amount of eye injuries happen during the festivities hence, the need to be cautious as we celebrate in this yuletide.

Here are a few tips for safe eyes during this yuletide:

  • Do use eye protective wear when setting up your Christmas tree to avoid irritation from dust, or tree fragments that may cause infection or lodge as foreign body in the eye.
  • If you plan to have a big Christmas tree, ensure the ladder is firmly held to the ground while climbing to avoid falling into the tree or away from the tree which either way poses a risk of injuring your eyes.
  • Do ensure that decorations with glass ornaments should be carefully done with materials that are without cracks and kept at a position outside the reach of children to avoid any injury from the materials.
  • Watch out for the tree pine (sharp) needles during decoration of the tree and be careful not to place gifts too far under the tree to prevent the eyes from being scratched or pierced in the bid to reach out for these gifts.
  • Be careful when opening your drinks or popping champagne to avoid spraying it on yourself or others and the crown cork from targeting your eyes rather point the bottle away from yourself and others.
  • Watch the kind of toys you buy for your children that they are age appropriate and do not have sharp edges or any harmful parts. Some toys such as pellet guns should be used with caution and under supervision.
  • Ensure that you use protective eye wear if you must use fireworks (“knock outs or bangers” in local parlance). If children must use fireworks, it must be thoroughly supervised by an adult and done in a secure environment to avoid endangering others
  • Sunglasses with ultraviolet ray blocking properties should be worn when outdoors during the yuletide to protect your eyes from harmful rays of the sunlight
  • Ensure you eat and drink right during the yuletide to stay healthy. Over indulgence in alcohol and poor diet would create more health problems when the celebrations are over
  • Ensure you have an eye examination if you have not had yours this year.

Safe eyes are a possibility this yuletide if you can apply these simple but important tips during this yuletide celebration. However, if any eye injury or casualty is recorded, please seek prompt medical attention and visit your eye doctor.

Wishing you a happy yuletide celebration!

Dr Ukachukwu F. U