safe toys for kids | Riverside Eye Center Maine

Every month, the American Academy of Ophthalmology brings awareness to a different topic surround eye health and safety. And this month, it is all about Christmas gifts!

For every ten children who end up in the emergency room with an eye injury, at least one of them was caused by a toy. So as you are out shopping for gifts this month, keep in mind the following five tips for choosing safe toys for your children:

  • Choose toys with care

Always make sure the toy you are buying is developmentally appropriate for your child’s age. Stay away from toys that are sharp or have rough edges so your child won’t accidentally poke themselves in the eye with it. And always supervise younger children when they are playing with toys.

  • Avoid toys that shoot things into the air

Remember the movie “A Christmas Story?” Ralphie’s mom asks him what he wants for Christmas and he immediately tells her he wants a BB gun.

And Ralphie’s mom famously replies, “No, you’ll shoot your eye out.” She may have had a point…

In all seriousness, BB guns or other toys that shoot things are not safe gifts for children!

  • Don’t forget the safety goggles

Considering a chemistry set that will keep your child entertained over their holiday break? Just make sure they wear the safety goggles that come with it!

  • Avoid aerosol string

Many kids enjoy playing with different types of silly string and on the surface, it may seem like a fairly harmless gift. But those products contain powerful chemicals that can cause serious eye irritation or an infection.

  • Do your Christmas shopping in person rather than online

It’s hard to beat the convenience that online shopping provides. But it’s also hard to fully understand what you are buying when all you have to go off of is a picture on the internet.

By shopping for children’s gifts in the stores, you can see the toys up close and will be better able to determine whether or not they are appropriate gifts.

If you need more tips on eye safety over the holiday season, feel free to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors!