If you accidentally get a liquid, powder, or aerosol chemical in your eye, how long should you rinse?
• 8 minutes
• Do not rinse
• 15 minutes
• Blow air only
Answer: 15 Minutes
If you accidentally get a liquid, powder or aerosol chemical in your eye, rinse using room temperature water for at least 15 minutes. Here’s why…
Getting chemicals in your eyes can be scary, especially if you don’t know what is. During a accidental splash, there are certain steps you can take to start flushing out the eyes while you wait for medical help to arrive.
Take these steps immediately:
Find a water source like a faucet, shower or a work eye-rinse station and flush your eyes using room temperature water for at least 15 minutes or more, if needed. The most important factor is to find a water source to help flush out the chemicals in your eyes.
The stream of water doesn’t have to be directly into the eyes. Aim for the forehead or the bridge of the nose. You can also tilt your head to the side and hold your eyelids open to flush out chemicals or debris. Remove contact lenses if applicable.
Seek immediate medical help after you have flushed your eyes out. Call 911, Poison Control Center, or head to the emergency room. If possible, bring the chemical container along or get as much information as possible for the medical provider.
Report how much time passed between the splash and the flushing, and for how many minutes the eye was flushed. It’s important to provide as much information as possible to protect from further damage and relieve pain.
It’s important that you don’t rub your eyes as this may cause further damage. Use water only to flush out your eyes (contact lense saline rinse as a secondary option but if possible, use water only) and don’t use eye drops unless recommended by a medical professional.
It’s important to protect your eyes, especially if dealing with chemicals. Be sure to wear eye protection like safety goggles and have a plan ready in case of emergency. It’s better to look forward and be prepared than to lose your sight because you didn’t plan ahead.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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