December is safe toys month. This holiday season, make sure that the toys and gifts you buy are eye safe. Each year more than 250,000 children are treated at hospitals for toy-related injuries. More than half of these toy injuries happen to the face. Some ranging from a corneal abrasion (a scratch on the surface of the eye) to a corneal ulcer, a traumatic cataract to a retinal tear or detachment. Most of these injuries affect children under the age of 15. We encourage parents to be aware of the toys, and the potential dangers of toys given to their children.
With so many toys being delivered on Christmas day, along with the excitement of the Holiday, it is in your best interest to be ever vigilant with your child and their toys. Please consider if the toys suit the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three. Below is a checklist from Prevent Blindness to help insure children’s safety.
Before you purchase a toy:
- Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
- Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child's ability and age.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
- Check the lenses and frames of children's sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
- Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
- Look for the letters "ASTM." This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.
- Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
Before letting children play with toys:
- Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
- Explain how to use the toy.
- Fix or throw away broken toys.
- Keep young children away from toys meant for older children.
- Supervise your children while playing.
- Store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
- Supervise children's craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child's eyesight).
- Have children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).
With the holiday season upon us with friends and family celebrating together, we hope everyone stays safe and can welcome the Holidays and New Year with good health and good eye care as well.
Happy Holidays from our staff to your safe household!