With the holiday season upon us, children are busy making their wish lists and checking them twice. But, parents may need to check them yet again for eye safety. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some toys can be dangerous for children's eyes.
Toys like airsoft guns, BB guns and paintball guns can be particularly hazardous. Common eye injuries from these toys include corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract, and increased intraocular pressure. These injuries sometimes require children to undergo eye surgery, and can result in permanent vision loss.
To keep children’s eyes safe from injuries, follow the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s five EyeSmart toy-buying tips:
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
- Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
- Along with sports equipment, give children the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Check with your Eye M.D. to learn about protective gear recommended for your child's sport.
- Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child's age and maturity.
- Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.
“Many toys have the potential to cause eye injuries,” said David G. Hunter, M.D., Ph.D., a pediatric ophthalmologist and spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Being aware and thoughtful about what you are putting in your children's hands is the best preventative medicine. A good rule of thumb for parents is to choose toys that are appropriate for their child's age and abilities, as well as the parents’ willingness to supervise use of the toy.”
Learn more in this toy safety video from Dr. Monica L. Monica, a clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist – an eye medical doctor. For more information about keeping eyes healthy during the holidays and all year-round, visit www.geteyesmart.org.