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Safe Toys Make for Happy, Injury-Free Holidays!

The holidays are right around the corner and for many that means shopping for the children. One thing to keep in mind when buying toys for children is to make sure they are safe. Children receive all sorts of presents that are potentially unsafe for their eyes during the holidays, including BB guns, darts, pellet guns and paintball guns.

“Any toy that can eject or propel an object can lead to a serious eye injury if used incorrectly,” said David Coats, MD, clinical correspondent for the Academy and pediatric ophthalmologist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. “This includes innocuous-appearing toys such as a popgun or a paddleball set.” Among the patients Dr. Coats has treated for injuries from toys is a boy who suffered a severe hemorrhage inside his eye after being shot with a potato gun. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 210,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2005 (the most recent year from which data is available); about three-fourths of those injured were children under age 15.

Don’t forget that sports equipment, a popular gift, should also include protective eyewear. Sports-related eye injuries are account for about 40,000 eye injuries annually. “If you plan to give sports equipment, provide appropriate protective gear, such as helmets or protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses,” said Dr. Coats. Parents can check with their Eye M.D. to learn about protective gear recommended for their child's sport.

This article reprinted with permission from the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart Campaign (www.geteyesmart.org).

Posted on December 01, 2016