You may be surprised to know that one in ten eye injuries children sustain were caused by toys and more than 250,000 kids are treated at hospitals annually for these injuries. December is the Safe Toys and Celebrations month and we would like to join the American Academy of Ophthalmology with our suggestions for avoiding eye injuries.
Some toys certainly have a reputation for causing eye injuries. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't remember Ralphie's mother's famous line from the movie A Christmas Story: “You''ll shoot your eye out!” This warning is unfortunately very accurate as BB guns and other devices that launch projectiles (such as crossbows) are some of the main offenders.
Here are some helpful tips we found when choosing toys this season. They are provided by the American Optometric Association and Prevent Blindness America:
Be sure to read all labels, instructions for assembly and any warnings on toys' packaging.
Avoid purchasing toys with sharp points, spikes, or rigid and dangerous edges.
Purchase only toys that meet the safety standards of American Society for Testing and Materials.
Use a child's ability and maturity as a guide, buying only toys suggested for their age.
Show kids the safe way to use toys properly and carefully monitor them.
By taking these precautions you can protect your child from senseless injuries. However, if your child should sustain an eye injury please don't allow them to rub or touch the eye. If the eye injury is caused by a chemical in the eye you should flush the eye with water copiously for 20 minutes and then seek medical attention immediately.
We all want to do our best to protect our kids from getting hurt. If you follow these tips, their likelihood for getting harmed from toys will be reduced. It is also important they get their yearly wellness check-ups and eye exams. Optikk 30A offers pediatric exams as well as medical eye service should an eye injury occur.
And PS parents: be mindful of eye injuries yourselves come New Year's Eve! Champagne bottles should be opened slowly and carefully – pointed away from the face and with a towel covering the cork.