December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month. According to research, roughly one in ten children’s eye injuries during the holiday season are caused by toys. Children are excited to play with their new action figures or dart guns – which tend to be a hazard, despite how fun they may seem at first. Experts recommend avoiding any type of projectile toy, such as a play crossbow or BB gun. When choosing holiday toys, consider the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s advice against such dangerous toys to promote healthy eyes and safety!
Eye Care Tips
Everyone loves the holiday season. It’s a time of joy and entertainment. Who doesn’t love unwrapping presents, eating good food, and visiting with friends and family? Unfortunately, the holiday season is often one of the most dangerous times of the year. From house fires to eye injuries, accidents happen seemingly more often during the holidays. It’s time to change that. Parents need to be careful when celebrating with the family this year. Instead of choosing possibly dangerous toys, consider other options.
Here are a few tips to help you choose the right toys and prevent a potential eye care disaster this holiday season:
- Avoid any toys with sharp, protruding, or projectile pieces. These may include airsoft guns, paintball guns, or BB guns. These items tend to be quite dangerous and used incorrectly amongst younger children. The foreign object each item propels can lead to severe damage to the sensitive tissue of a child’s eye.
- If you’re considering laser toys, watch for labels that promote compliance with 21 CFR Subchapter J. This statement means the toy meets the Code of Federal Regulations for laser products, including power and severity limitations. Lasers can cause irreversible damage to a growing eye.
- If you are intent on buying sports equipment, always make sure children have proper eyewear, lenses, and headgear to protect themselves. These items tend to be shatterproof.
Now, let us discuss a few holiday tips around the house. Children’s toys are not the only potential danger this season. Even ornaments can pose a significant safety hazard to a child’s eyes. Consider the following:
- Decorations – When hanging decorations, be cautious of any item that may poke or scratch the eyes. Christmas trees, for instance, are at eye level for almost every child. The pine needles, branches, arrangement hooked, and lights can be quite destructive to the eye.
- Outdoors – If children are spending significant time outdoors, learning to snowboard or ski, then protective goggles should be worn at all times. A single chunk of ice can lead to devastating eye damage.
- Fireplaces – Children must be watched carefully when around an open flame or fireplace. A candle, for example, can drip or splatter hot wax into the eyes, causing damage. Consider placing a screen in front of the fireplace and don’t leave the room with open flames present.