What an exciting time of the year! ‘Tis the season of holiday cheer, family traditions, shopping, and giving gifts to the ones we love. As we prepare our holiday shopping list, some popular toys may not be the best gift for your child. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about a quarter of a million children are seen in hospital emergency departments in the U.S. each year due to toy-related injuries. Nearly half of those injuries were to the head and face, including the eyes, and children under age 5 sustain about 35 percent of toy-related injuries.
We want to remind parents and grandparents to shop with an EYE on SAFETY when choosing gifts for children this year.
Common toy-related eye injuries range from a minor scratch to the eye’s front surface corneal abrasion to severe, sight-threatening injuries such as traumatic cataract, bleeding inside the eye, retinal detachment, and even permanent vision loss.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, here are a few toys to avoid this holiday season:
- Avoid toys that shoot objects. This includes slingshots, dart guns, pellet guns, arrows, and water balloon launchers. Closely supervise any child playing with such toys.
- Avoid drones with spinning rotors. A drone offered this holiday to children age 12 and up has spinning rotor blades that move at high speed, posing a danger to eyes, fingers, and hair.
- Avoiding high-powered laser pointers can cause permanent vision loss. Though technically not a toy, some children use them to play “laser tag” or “flashlight tag.” Recent reports show that high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts) can cause permanent eye damage in children.
- Avoid toy swords, sabers, or wands.
- Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child’s age, look for and follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.
Give with JOY this holiday season with an EYE on SAFETY!
References: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Optometric Association, and the National Eye Institute. This blog provides information and discussion about eye health and related subjects. The content provided within this newsletter and any linked materials are not intended and should not be considered medical advice. If the reader or any person has a medical concern, they should consult with an appropriately licensed physician.