Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorFor you, New Year’s Eve may mean some bubbly and a midnight kiss on the cheek.

For us doctors, New Year’s Eve can mean bubbly and a midnight cork to the eye.

Along with the 4th of July, this is the time of year eye injuries tend to dominate the Emergency Department.

So before indulging, how about some info on the physics of celebratory projectiles?

The average cork can travel at 50 mph.

The average distance it can travel is 42 feet.

The average distance the average injury-inducing cork travels is 22 inches (arm’s length.)

Time to travel that distance- 0.05 seconds, or less than a blink of the eye.

In other works, open champagne haphazardly, the higher your risk of saying Auld Land Syne to your eyesight– and I’m not trying to be a funny.

So, do you know how to safely uncork a bottle?

Serve it cold- the cork wont be as pressurized and will come off easier.

Hold it at a 45 degree angle AWAY from you– and anyone else (and valuable objects) within range.

Place a napkin over the cork after loosening the wire basket (which, BTW, is supposed to take six turns to untwist).

Twist the bottle, NOT the cork, gently back and forth. As you do so, you should feel a change in the resistance as it gets ready to blow its top.

The cork should come off with a minimum “popping” noise.

Remember through the whole process-its not rock ‘n roll. Don’t shake, rattle and roll the bottle.

Now, I realize this isn’t totally medical advice- I’m not a champagne bon vivant– and even when done correctly, the cork can shoot out faster than a rocket.

The point of this whole thing is NOT to point.

Be careful tonight, so you can honestly say: see you tomorrow. With both eyes.

Happy New Year


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