By Dr. Brian Finley for Clarus Eye Centre
The holidays are a wonderful time for family festivities, but too many celebrations are interrupted each year due to unsafe use of toys, which can lead to serious eye injuries in children. The good news is that the vast majority of these injuries can be prevented.
A serious eye injury can ruin your celebration and, more seriously, leave your child with permanent vision loss. That’s why it’s so important for parents to choose a toy that is appropriate for their child’s age, abilities, and maturity.
Children receive all types of potentially unsafe presents during the holidays, including BB guns, pellet guns, and darts. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 250,000 toy–related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2010, and nearly three quarters of those injured were children age 15 or younger. Because so many toys have the potential to cause injuries, many parents wonder which toys are safe.
To keep your children’s eyes safe from toy–related eye injuries, follow these four tips:
- Avoid buying toys with sharp, protruding, or projectile parts.
- Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.
- Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause injury.
- Keep toys made for older children away from younger children.
Parents should also remember that sports equipment, a popular gift, should also include appropriate protective eyewear. Sports–related eye injuries account for about 40,000 eye injuries annually and can cause permanent vision loss. If you plan to give sports equipment to your children, add some appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses.
Your Clarus doctor can make specific recommendations about protective eyewear, including available prescription protective eyewear.
Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!