eye safetyWhen it comes to the holidays, you envision your family surrounded by a glowing fireplace, opening presents with glee – not in the emergency room with an eye injury.

Unfortunately, that’s often a reality for families during the holidays.  In 2013 alone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported nearly 257,000 toy-related injuries, with just about half of these injuries occurring to the head and/or face.  Most of these injuries happened to children under the age of 15, meaning your children could be at risk this holiday season.

Some holiday toys can pose significant risks for children’s eye safety.  While there are plenty of obvious culprits – such as BB guns and darts – there are plenty of other toys that could pose a risk to your child’s eyes.

To ensure you don’t spend your holidays in the emergency room, here are some tips you can use to keep everyone safe, happy, and healthy:

  • Be careful when purchasing toys with sharp or pointy parts. Children – especially young children – have a tendency to injure themselves with these parts. Even older children might accidentally harm themselves (for example, running and tripping down on the toy).
  • Make sure that any toys you purchase are age-appropriate. Don’t buy a toy meant for older children when you have a toddler.
  • Keep an eye on your children when they’re playing with toys that could potentially be hazardous. The more vigilant and aware you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to prevent any dangerous situations from occurring.
  • If you buy sports equipment for your children, ensure you buy them appropriate eyewear as well. For example, if you get your child a paintball gun, make sure you include an appropriate helmet, safety goggles, and face mask.
  • Limit time spent on new computer and video games. Children’s eyes can quickly become tired and strained when too much time is spent playing video and computer games.  Make sure your children take breaks, and encourage them to get plenty of time playing outside (it can help them reduce their risk for developing nearsightedness).

Despite all of these tips, eye injuries can still happen.  If your child is injured by a toy, make sure you schedule an immediate appointment at an ophthalmologist.  You can schedule emergency appointments with Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia today. NewView Eye Center also serves patients in the greater Washington, DC area.