Some of the most popular toys this year 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 about 35 percent of toy-related injuries are sustained by children under age 5. The Eye Center of North Florida wants to remind parents and grandparents to shop with an EYE on SAFETY when choosing gifts for children.
Common toy-related eye injuries range from a minor scratch to the front surface of the eye (corneal abrasion) to serious, 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, slingshots, 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.
- 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!
Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology