According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 250,000 children are admitted to the emergency room each year for toy-related injuries. Almost half of all toy-related injuries are to the face or head, and many injuries result in vision damage or vision loss.
You can manage your child or grandchild’s risk for eye damage by making wise choices when purchasing toys. December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, so here are some guidelines to follow when buying toys for children.
10 Tips for Buying Safe Toys for Kids
- Look for the letters “ASTM” on the toy, which means the toy meets the national safety standards set by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International.
- Avoid buying toys that are sharp or have protruding parts.
- Avoid buying toys that shoot projectiles of any kind, even soft darts. This includes water balloon launchers and water guns.
- Do not purchase BB guns or airsoft guns for children. They are not toys.
- Read labels for age recommendations, and only purchase toys that are appropriate for the child’s age level and maturity level.
- Read online reviews before purchasing toys.
- Buy toys that can withstand impact and won’t shatter.
- Inspect all toys carefully for broken parts, missing pieces and cracks.
- Read all warnings and instructions.
- If the toy requires assembly, assemble it yourself. Do not allow the child to assemble it.
Ask your ophthalmologist for more information about eye-safe toys, and make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. Eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can develop gradually and minimize your vision, so get an eye exam to make sure your eyesight is healthy this holiday season.
Yearly eye exams are an important part of preventative care, so schedule comprehensive eye exams for the whole family. If you would like to find an eye doctor or eye surgery center in your area, click here and enter your zip code in the top right corner.