How to Avoid Toy-Related Eye Injuries
From sparking their imagination to teaching problem solving skills, your child’s toys play an important role in their growth and development. However, every year thousands of children sustain toy-related eye injuries that can result in life-long effects to their vision. By practicing the correct precaution and care, many of these common injuries can be avoided to keep playtime a fun and safe activity.
1. Ensure the Toy is Age-Appropriate
Thoroughly read all labels, instructions, and online reviews to ensure that the toy is appropriate for the age and ability level of your child. This age guide will not only help indicate if your child has the understanding and physical skills to safely play with a particular toy but can also be used to gauge what their level of interest will be for that toy or activity.
2. Avoid Toys with Sharp, Protruding, or Projectile Parts
Toys with sharp edges and propelled objects can cause several eye injuries ranging from corneal scratches to serious injuries such as bleeding, retinal detachment, corneal ulcers, traumatic cataracts, and vision loss. Avoid gifting toys such as guns, crossbows, darts, and airsoft guns. If you do allow your children to play with these toys, ensure they wear protective eyewear and follow the proper safety procedures while doing so.
3. Look For a Mark with the Letters “ASTM”
These letters indicate that the product has passed the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) rigorous safety standards outlined by industry professionals and follows the latest child development, manufacturing, and risk assessment research.
4. Thoroughly Inspect the Toy Prior to Play
Toys made of brittle plastic or glass can break easily, exposing sharp points and edges that can potentially be dangerous to your child’s eyes. If you notice any rips, peeling paint or loose parts repair these issues immediately or throw the toy away if it is broken.
5. Teach Proper Toy Safety
Read all the instructions, warnings, and intended uses to learn how to properly operate the toy. Then have a conversation with your child to explain these uses and demonstrate safe toy practices that they can follow. Always try to supervise your children while they play to ensure they are using appropriate toys in a safe manner.