It’s officially December, Santa and his elves are wrapping up the toys for all the good boys and girls. Although he would never intentionally deliver a harmful toy to your child, it is our job as parents to inspect each gift for potential hazards. First, when checking toys for your children, remember to be sure that they are well made and in the correct age range. Manufacturers often give suggested ages for a toy, but keep your individual child in mind because children develop at different rates. Second, provide proper eye safety equipment for older children. Be certain that they wear protective eye wear when playing with eye hazardous games or toys such as chemistry sets or shop tools. Most preventable eye injuries suffered by children occur during play or sports activities.
Fun and games build visual skills! While hardly extensive, it is a beginning point for parents to use to become active in their child’s visual development. On the other hand, there are toys that can cause serious eye injuries and vision loss. Parents should heed these warnings:
- Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, shafts, spikes, rods, and dangerous edges.
- Keep toys intended for older children away from younger children.
- Avoid flying toys and projectile-firing toys; these pose a danger to all children, particularly those under five years old.
- Be aware of items in playgrounds and play areas that pose potential eye hazards.
- Keep BB guns away from kids (or supervise them carefully).
- Packaging may also pose a risk, especially for young children. Stiff cardboard and heavy-duty twist ties that are often used to secure toys in the packaging may both poke or scratch children’s eyes.
Finally, if you notice any of these signs, get medical help right away.
We wish all of our patients a joyous holiday season and enjoy the spectacular lights and sights that come with it. We’ll be here throughout the month and ready after it, to ensure you’ll experience many more holidays with clear visions of sugarplums dancing in your heads.
Dr. Melissa Sterling