Each year more than 250,000 children are treated at hospitals for toy-related injuries. Most of these injuries affect children under the age of 15, and more than half injure the face; the majority of these injuries can be prevented. During Safe Toys and Gifts Month, Friends for Sight encourages parents to be aware of the toys, and the potential dangers of toys given to their children.
"Many toys have the potential to cause eye injuries," states American Academy of Ophthalmology spokesperson and ophthalmologist David G. Hunter, MD, Ph.D. "Being aware and thoughtful about what you are putting in your children's hands is the best preventative medicine...choose toys that are appropriate for their child's age and abilities, as well s the parent's willingness to supervise use of the toys."
Here are some helpful tips provided by American Academy of Ophthalmology and Prevent Blindness America:
- Read all labels and warnings on toy box.
- Avoid purchasing toys with rigid or sharp points, rods, spikes, or dangerous edges.
- Purchase toys that meet the safety standards of American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
- Only buy toys that are meant for the child's age, maturity and ability.
- Inspect toys before given to children.
- Show children how to use the toy safely.
- Supervise children while playing.
- Fix or throw away broken toys.
- Have children wear the right protective eyewear for sports
By taking proper precautions, whether providing age-appropriate toys or proper protective eyewear, you can protect your child from injury. However, if your child should sustain an eye injury DO NOT allow child to rub or touch the eye, DO NOT apply medication to the eye, and DO NOT attempt to remove any debris from the eye. If the eye injury is caused by a chemical in the eye, flush the eye with water. For all eye injuries seek medical attention immediately.
We all want our children to be happy and healthy, and we want to protect them from harm. We can best achieve this goal by getting our children yearly wellness check-ups and eye examinations before school, as well as by providing safe toys, environments, and adult supervision.