With the holiday shopping season in full swing, it is important to remember certain safety guidelines when choosing the perfect gifts for little ones. Recent studies have shown that some popular toy types are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries. These include air guns and other toys that shoot projectiles, high-powered lasers and sports equipment.
Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – treat the eye injuries that can result from these products. The Wisconsin Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Ophthalmology are encouraging parents to follow these tips when selecting toys for children this holiday season.
- Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of patients with eye injuries caused by seemingly safe toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns and other nonpowder gun–related Foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.
- Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage,with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.
- Read labels for age recommendations before you buy and follow instructions about proper assembly, use and supervision.
- Don’t just give presents. Make sure to beAlways make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
- If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. As you wait for medical help, make sure to never to touch, rub, apply pressure or try to remove any object stuck in the eye
Following these tips can help make sure our little loved ones have healthy vision for many holiday seasons to come.