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3 Eye Safety Tips for New Year’s Eve Celebrations

The end of the year is approaching, and celebrations to greet the new one will soon be underway.

Whether you’re celebrating with a few close friends or heading out to a grand affair, there are plenty of ways to practice eye safety during this holiday. Here are a few reminders as you head into festivities. 

Keep fireworks and sparklers away from your face.

Fireworks. Big loud, booming lights in the sky. Nothing screams celebration like the “ooohs” and “ahhs” that escape the mouths of all those gazing upon the skyward spectacle. Often included in many New Year celebrations, fireworks undoubtedly bring in the new year with a bang. Yet even for all their beauty, it can be easy to forget that they present a risk to eye safety. If possible, avoid fireworks and sparklers during the holidays, but if they are part of your festivity plans, be sure to wear proper safety glasses, use common sense, and keep them directed away from yourself and others. Likewise, if you’re going for less of a bang, and more of a sparkle, be cautious when playing with sparklers during your festivities. While these little flames don’t carry the full force of a firework, they still present the risk of open flame near the eyes and should always be used with caution. Be sure to hold them at arm’s length and away from your face. 

Aim poppers and streamers away from yourself and others. 

Poppers and streamers are a fantastic way to greet the new year, but they have the potential to scratch corneas and cause serious eye injury and vision loss. Be sure to aim them away from your face and away from other people while you’re celebrating.

Uncork champagne bottles safely.

Opening a bottle of champagne presents one of the highest risks for eye injury during the revels of the new year. While not everyone will be enjoying the bubbly this year, everyone should be wary of people attending their parties who might not know the correct way to open a bottle of champagne. One study found that 1 in 4 uncorking injuries were bystanders, so it’s crucial that any bottles are opened carefully and pointed away from others. Bubbly-related injuries are common enough that the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) even created a how-to guide for opening champagne bottles. 

You can follow along to this video or use these notes for reference.

  1. Chill the champagne; this will prevent pressure build-up within the bottle (chill to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. DO NOT Shake the bottle!
  3. Wipe the bottle dry to make it is easier to grasp.
  4. Remove the foil on the cap.
  5. Hold the cork down with your palm as you untwist the metal tabs.
  6. Cover the top of the bottle with a towel.
  7. Place your thumb over the top of the cloth-covered cork.
  8. Press the bottom of the bottle into the body for support.
  9. Hold the top of the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from the body.
  10. Slowly twist the bottle-continuing to press it into your body, keeping your thumb on top of the cork. Gently hold the stopper with your thumb as you wiggle it loose. 
  11. Once the cork is clear – make your toasts to the new year!

Celebrate safely!

Finally, enjoy your celebrations, and be sure to have a clear vision of your future as you welcome the new year with joy!