Image from variety.com

Image from variety.com

The holiday season is finally here – and that means days spent eating with loved ones, singing carols, and giving the gifts you’ve been hiding in your closet for the past couple of months.  But whether you’ve already finished your holiday shopping or have yet to start (it happens!), consider this…

Choosing eye-safe toys can prevent your holidays from turning into a trip to the emergency room.

Believe it or not, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that over 250,000 injuries are a direct result of using a toy improperly.  It’s also estimated that 1 in 10 childhood trips to the emergency room can be traced back to a toy.  What’s more, most of these injuries are happening to children under 15 – the prime ages for receiving toys for the holidays.

There are numerous toys that cause more eye-related injuries than others.  For example, dart guns, BB guns, and other propelling toys often cause injuries; hence the infamous phrase, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”  Eye injuries can range from mild to incredibly severe; even potentially blinding.

That’s why you should consider these strategies for choosing eye-safe toys this holiday season:

  • Think twice before you purchase toys with projectiles, as these are the leading causes of eye injuries to young children. Propelling toys are often the biggest culprit, along with toy, BB, and paintball guns.
  • Supervise your children whenever they’re playing with toys that could cause damage to their eyes. Even sports equipment like baseball bats and soccer balls have the potential to cause corneal damage.
  • Check the toy’s label to see if it’s appropriate for your child’s age. On a similar note, keep toys for older children away from your younger children.
  • Ensure that your children have access to protective eyewear, especially when playing with potentially risky toys. For example, if your children are playing with toy BB guns, make sure that they’re wearing clear goggles, as this can minimize the possibility of an injury occurring.

These tips can help ensure that your holiday is a merry one – free from any damaging eye injuries!  To learn more about eye safety, schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia.  NewView Eye Center also serves the greater Washington, DC areas.