How to Avoid Eye Injuries While Grilling

It wouldn’t be summer without eating your favorite foods hot off the grill. Whether you enjoy cooking on a charcoal grill, a gas grill or a smoker, it’s important to take the proper precautions to keep yourself safe. More than 40 percent of injuries in your eyes happen during everyday activities like grilling.

Let’s check out some of the best ways that you can keep yourself safe while barbecuing this summer. If there is an accident, be sure to call your eye specialist in Brooklyn NY. Your eye doctor can guide you on what to do and if you should go to the ER.

Wear reliable eye protection 

Barbecuing sends smoke, grease and even small sparks of fire into the air. It’s ideal to wear safety goggles for full protection, but we understand that you might not want to wear these when you’re hanging out with others. At the very least, wear a durable, clean pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes. This will protect them from grease splatters, smoke and ash. 

If you’re grilling at night, there are safety goggles with built-in LED lights that you can wear. Again, not the biggest fashion statement, but you keep your eyes safe while seeing what you’re doing. Plus, your food will turn out great! 

Clean hands after handling food and lighter fluid 

It’s not just being over the grill that you need to worry about. It’s equally important to keep harmful residue off your hands, otherwise it can get into your eyes. For example, after using lighter fluid, wash your hands. If you do get lighter fluid in your eyes, flush them with water for 15 minutes and call your eye doctor in Brooklyn NY. 

Some foods can also cause intense burning and pain in the eyes. When chopping foods for the grill, such as peppers and onions, wear latex gloves or wash your hands after. Onions are generally only a problem while they are being cut, but some peppers contain chili oil, which can irritate the eyes. 

Stay out of the smoke 

Charcoal grills smell good, but it’s in your best interest to stay out of the smoke. When charcoal burns, it releases carbon monoxide gas that deprives the body of oxygen. Plus, all that smoke can irritate the eyes and cause redness, dryness and itching. Everyone should keep a safe distance from the grill to prevent eye injuries, burns and carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Be prepared for fires 

Grill fires can and do happen. They often occur when the grill is left unattended. To avoid the risk of fire, make sure someone is always watching the grill. Also, keep a hose and fire extinguisher nearby so that you can put out a potential fire. If this doesn’t work, call the fire department right away. More than half of fire injuries occur when people try to put out the fire themselves. 

You can enjoy barbecuing this summer, but make safety a priority. Precautions taken before, during and after grilling significantly reduce the risk for eye injuries and other accidents. If you do suffer an eye injury, contact an ophthalmologist in Brooklyn NY for personalized care.