The world is slowly returning to normalcy post the covid pandemic. Holi is just round the corner and it is expected that many will make the most of the riot of colors, following covid protocols. The gulals, rang pichkaris, songs & dances and sumptuous meals during Holi are just getting ready. The kids are definitely a part of this fun fare and they seem to enjoy the most.
Earlier Holi was played with colors made of plant and flower extracts. But over the years, chemicals and other toxic substances have slowly replaced natural colors. Apart from causing irritation to the eyes, these synthetic colors might also lead to temporary blindness and permanent blindness in certain cases. This colourful festival can be a better day of fun and frolic when we play it with safety measures, including strict covid norms.
Dr. Ipsita Basu, DO, DNB, DipNB, Consultant – Pediatric Ophthalmology of Disha Eye Hospitals shares here the causes of eye infection during Holi for kids and some special eye care tips for the younger souls.
Causes for eye infection/ damage during Holi:
- Synthetic colours used in Holi contain heavy metals like lead causing pink eye, corneal abrasion, chemical burn, or blunt eye injury. Such colours should be avoided as they can have a telling effect on the kids
- Shining mica particles in red colour are really harmful and should be avoided as they can cause damage to the cornea
- Green synthetic colours causes fleeting blindness resulting in sudden vision loss
- Kids tend to enjoy water balloons the most. But they are the most important cause of blunt eye injury.
- If kids eyes are hit by balloons full of colour, the eye balls may get severely damaged or it may lead to retinal detachment.
Eyes care during Holi:
1. Protect eyes by wearing sunglasses or protective eye wear while playing with colours
2. Fasten or tie hair together by using a cap to prevent colour dripping into the eyes
3. Never rub eyes if colours enter into them as this may cause irritation or vision loss
4. Apply thick layers of coconut oil around your eyes as it will help the colour to get off easily without causing harm to eyes
5. It is always important to keep an eye on the kids so
Natural colours made from home-based products are a much better and safer option to play Holi. These can be easily made and offer a safer option as compared to the synthetic colours. Haldi mixed with besan or flour can give a yellow colour and work as a face-mask at the same time. White petals of Palash flower can be used to obtain a saffron colour. Beetroot soaked in water provides a bright magenta colour. Henna Powder, Gulmohar, and Hibiscus Flowers etc. can also be used to make different colours.