Children’s bright eyes epitomize the spirit of the holiday season, but those same bright eyes can become weary and even injured without proper supervision during the holiday gift-giving season as toys and computer games can prove hazardous to children’s vision. The Consumer Products and Safety Commission reports that more than 230,000 toy-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms annually. Of those injured, approximately one third under the age of five and more than 45% of those injuries are to the head and face. Most eye injuries caused by toys are completely preventable. Many parents are simply unaware of what to look for to maximize children’s eye safety when purchasing toys.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
- Check labels on toys for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.
- Make sure toys are well made and durable.
- Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause injury.
- Keep toys made for older children away from younger children.
- Be sure children sit at least arm’s length away from the computer or television screen when playing computer or video games.
- Encourage intermittent breaks away from the computer or television screen in order to give eyes a proper chance to rest.
- Try to keep window light off to the side of electronic screens rather than in front or behind. Position screens to reduce reflections from windows or overhead lights.
- Think about lighting. Good room lighting is important for healthy eyes.