Once you have found the “impossible to find” gift for your teenage niece, the next gifts on your list are for children of siblings, and of course, your own. Making sure these gifts are safe for young children should be a prerequisite. With that in mind, here is an eye safety holiday gift guide.
Lest you think we exaggerate the toll of eye injuries from toys, Prevent Blindness In America tells us that there are approximately 11,000 toy related eye injuries each year. These can range from mild corneal abrasions to much more serious issues like corneal ulcers, retinal tears or detachments.
Be selective when you choose toys for the young children on your list. Especially read labels to determine the age appropriateness for a specific toy. Something for an eight year old is not safe for a toddler.
Toy guns of all kinds should only be used under close parental supervision. Boys love their toy guns but BB guns, pellet guns, and paintballs are all hazardous unless the child is wearing eye protection.
Any type of toy weapon is dangerous if they have something that shoots out, like bows and arrows and anything with sharp points.
If you really want to give children safe toys with an extra benefit, give them something that will get them playing outside in the sun and away from those dreaded screens. Happy kids with less eye strain is a great mix.
- Paint sets, coloring books, crayons, and boxes of chalk give kids a creative way to pass the time. An easel will make them feel like they are a famous painter.
- Building blocks, legos, puzzles, and board games can help kids learn how to count.
- Outdoor gear like roller skates, a bike or a trampoline gets them outside.
- AV-protected goggles for anything sport related is a great all around gift.
Some Final Thoughts
If a child sustains an eye injury, contact Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Associates immediately.
Never allow children to play with high powered laser pointers. Only buy toys meant for their age.
Show them how to use their toys safely, and keep your “eyes” on them when they are playing.