Raising awareness of gifts that are dangerous to eyes

 

Eyecare professionals should take the opportunity in December to remind their patients that certain toys can represent a danger to their children’s eyes.  

 

In the US, Prevent Blindness America takes the issue very seriously and designates December “Safe Toys and Gifts Month.” The not-for-profit organization offers tips on the best ways to choose a safe toy according to the child’s age and on recognizing dangerous toys on one of its website pages: www.preventblindness.org/make-safe-toys-and-gifts-priority. In addition to tips, it includes data on eye injuries caused by toys.

 

It’s important to note that in the US in 2011 there were 262,300 recorded injuries caused by toys, with the head and face being the body parts most often affected. In Canada, the Canadian Association of Optometrists (CAO) issues regular reminders that thousands of children visit emergency rooms each year over the holiday season due to eye injuries caused by toys.

 

To lessen risks, Health Canada suggests in particular avoiding toys that have sharp points and edges and those with arrows, bullets and missiles, and discarding or repairing old or broken toys. Finally, children who have handled sticky gel or soft plastic toys should wash their hands immediately afterward to prevent chemical residues from irritating their eyes.

Sources:

http://www.preventblindness.org/make-safe-toys-and-gifts-priority

http://www.cnib.ca/en/your-eyes/safety/at-play/Pages/child-eyeinjuries-1207.aspx

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