According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 226,100 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2018. Almost half of those incidents were injuries to the head and, unfortunately, most of those happened to children under the age of 15. It’s important to think about the safety of any gift you’re giving, especially if it’s a gift for a child!
Tips from AAO.org for choosing safe toys
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
- Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
- Ensure that laser product labels include a statement that the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.
- If you give a gift of sports equipment, also give the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Check with your ophthalmologist to learn about protective gear recommended for your child’s sport.
- Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.
- Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.
- If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology urges parents to avoid buying toys that can cause serious eye injuries, even blindness. This article was condensed from their EyeSmart article collection, and was written by Beatrice Shelton and edited by Anni Delfaro. Read the full article, including a helpful video, at AAO.org.