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Preventing Eye Injury from Holiday Toys



“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

We’ve all heard the famous words from the classic Christmas movie, “A Christmas Story,” and from some of our parents when we asked for a specific Christmas toy as a child. But did you know that every year, thousands of kids under the age of 14 suffer from serious eye injuries caused by Holiday toys? The good news is that most of these eye injuries can be prevented and avoided, by simply considering the type of toy being purchased and the child it is meant for.  That’s why we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to select toys that are less likely to cause eye injury.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Toy:

  • Read all warning and instruction labels on the box.
  • Make sure that the toy you are buying is age appropriate for the child it is being bought for.
  • Make sure the toy matches the child’s level of skill and ability.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp points and dangerous edges.
  • Check to make sure that the toy does not break easily and can withhold the child’s activity level.
  • Make sure that the toy has been approved by the ASTM, the American Society for Testing and Materials. Toys approved by the ASTM meet the national safety standards.

Things to Consider when the Child is Playing with the Toy:

  • Ensure that the child has appropriate supervision when playing with the toy.
  • Provide the correct protective eye wear for the child.
  • Ensure that the toy is properly removed from the packaging.
  • Store the toy in a safe place where it won’t fall and cause injury.

Toys that Pose a High Risk for Eye Injury

  • Guns that shoot any type of projectile (this includes water guns) – These types of toys may not seem as if they can cause serious eye injury, but when used indoors and in close proximity, it can cause serious eye injury. Some of the soft darts can shoot out as far as 75 feet.
  • Laser pointers and bright flashlights – Even though laser and flashlights are not considered toys, they can cause serious vision loss from the intensity of the light emitted.
  • Aerosol string – The actual toy is not what poses a threat to the eye, it’s the chemical in it that can cause serious eye injury. If the chemical enters the eye it can cause a corneal abrasion that can cause serious eye infections.
  • Toy Wands and Swords – These toys are the most  obvious in causing eye injury, due to the sharp and pointy end. If children aren’t supervised when playing with these toys, they could potentially poke each other’s eyes.

When doing your Holiday shopping this season and buying gifts for children, keep these tips in mind in order to avoid potential eye injuries and putting a damper on your Holiday celebrations.

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