The Solar Eclipse is Coming on Monday, August 21st

This is a monumental celestial event. The “Great American Eclipse” will pass from Oregon to South Carolina and will be partially visible here in New Jersey. Though eclipses happen often, this is the first total eclipse in the mainland United States since 1979.

An eclipse is an awe-inspiring spectacle, but it is also deceptively dangerous for your eyes. If you plan to watch the eclipse from anywhere, be sure to take proper precautions.

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Here are a collection of news stories on the eclipse:

We hope you enjoy the Solar Eclipse! Please watch safely!

August 16, 2017

Back-to-School Already?

With the school year right around the corner, parents are scrambling to get new school supplies and clothes. As they complete their long list of school to-dos, it is crucial to remember one of their children’s most important learning tools: their eyes. August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month and a great time to remember that good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning.

To keep your child from squinting and struggling through the school year, here are a few easy-to-follow eye care tips:

  • Get your child an eye exam before starting school – While most schools offer eye screenings throughout the year, they are not the most reliable way to track a child’s eye health. To ensure children start the school year with the proper eyewear, parents should schedule a comprehensive eye exam.
  • Encourage your children to wash their hands regularly – When kids come into contact with germs they can be infected simply by touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Kids tend to rub their eyes quite a bit, so clean hands will cut-down on eye infections.
  • Limit Exposure to Electronics – Nearsightedness among children 12 years old and older has increased from 25 to 42 percent due to the use of electronic devices. Protect your child from their damaging effects by encouraging them to enjoy in outdoor activities after school.
  • Ensure a Healthy and Balanced Diet – Nutrition is one the most important factors for healthy vision in children. Teaching children to value and enjoy healthy meals can lower their risk for sight-stealing disorders later in life. A diet rich in carotene can reduce age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Carotene is an antecedent to Vitamin A and is found in leafy greens, corn, egg yolks and some grains.

August 5, 2017

Fireworks and Eye Injuries: A Dangerous Mix

Fireworks may be advertised like toys, and you may think you know how to handle them safely, but the danger to you and your loved ones is real. Fireworks can cause severe eye injuries, including chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment — all of which can permanently affect vision.

According to the most recent Fireworks Injury Report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks injuries in the United States caused nearly 10,500 injuries requiring treatment in emergency rooms. The report also showed that nearly 1,300 eye injuries related to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2014, more than double the 600 reported in 2012.

Those injured by fireworks are not necessarily handling the explosives themselves. In fact, nearly half of people injured by fireworks are bystanders. Children are frequent victims: 35 percent who sustained a fireworks injury are age 15 and under.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the leading professional organization of American ophthalmologists, advises that the best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use.

For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows:
• Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
• Do not touch unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

For those who decide to purchase consumer fireworks because they live in states where they are legal, the Academy recommends the following safety tips to prevent eye injuries:
• Never let young children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
• People who handle fireworks should always wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
• Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.

July 3, 2017