Don’t let flying champagne cork ruin your Valentine’s Day

February 12th, 2009 - 4:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 12 (IANS) If you and your beloved plan on sharing a bottle of bubbly this Valentine’s Day, make sure not to spoil it with an accidental eye injury.
Hundreds of eye injuries happen every year when people are celebrating special occasions, and often the last thing on their mind is the danger that a flying cork can present.

“An eye injury can take all of the romance out of your Valentine’s Day,” said Tamara Fountain, a doctor and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

“A cork can fly up to 80 kmph as it leaves the bottle. Anything that travels with such momentum can have a devastating effect if it strikes your eye.”

Knowing the right way to open a bottle of champagne will make your celebrations enjoyable and safe. “A few simple steps can eliminate the chance of an eye injury and make for an injury-free Valentine’s Day,” said Fountain, according to AAO release.

Here are some tips on opening a bottle of champagne properly:

- Make sure sparkling wine is chilled to at least 45 degrees Fahrenheit before opening. The cork of a warm bottle is more likely to pop unexpectedly.

- Don’t shake the bottle. Shaking increases your chances of eye injury.

- To open the bottle safely, hold down the cork with the palm of your hand while removing the wire hood. Point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from yourself and from any bystanders.

- Place a towel over the entire top of the bottle and grasp the cork.

- Keep the bottle at a 45-degree angle as you slowly and firmly twist the bottle while holding the cork to break the seal. Continue to hold the cork while twisting the bottle. Continue until the cork is almost out of the neck. Counter the force of the cork using slight downward pressure just as the cork breaks free from the bottle.

- Never use a corkscrew to open a bottle of champagne or sparkling wine.

In the event that an eye injury does occur, it is important to seek medical help immediately.

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