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Toys That Should Be Avoided To Keep Children’s Eyes Safe

Every child loves toys. And all grandparents and parents enjoy purchasing enjoyable gifts for their little ones.

However, some toys that might seem like they could be a lot of fun do pose high-risk of eye injuries – which include serious injuries that may result in losing your vision permanently.

Toy-Related Eye Injuries

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that approximately one-quarter of a million children are taken to a hospital emergency department every year on account of toy-related injuries.

Almost half of those injuries are to the face and head, with many of them being eye injuries Around 35 percent of these toy-related injuries are suffered by children who are under 5 years old.

However, when purchasing toys for children, often eye safety is the last thing that people are thinking about. has conducted online surveys that show that around 41 percent of parents “never” or “rarely” consider eye safety when they are selecting toys to buy for their children. However, when they were asked whether or not any of the toys that their children have could potentially damage their eyes, 22 percent of parents responded “possibly,” and 54 percent responded “definitely.”

Mishaps with toys cause common eye injuries ranging from minor scratches on the eye’s front surface (corneal abrasions) up to sight-threatening serious injuries like retinal detachment, bleeding inside of the eye, traumatic cataracts, and corneal ulcers.

It is clearly time to rethink how we purchase toys so that children’s eyes are protected against damage.

Six Types Of Toys Posing High Risks For Eye Injuries

The following is a list of six kinds of toys that you may want to take off of your gift lists when purchasing presents for young children. They all have high potential risks for causing eye injuries – particularly when young children use them without adult guidance and supervision.

  1. Guns shooting any kind of projectile. That includes toy guns shooting cushy, lightweight darts. You may think those kinds of soft projectiles would either pose no risk at all or very little, however, this type of toy gun can shoot up to 75 feet in distance, and the darts also most fast enough that serious eye injuries can be caused, particularly when they are used indoors at close range.
  1. Water guns and water balloon launchers. Water balloons can potentially cause severe blunt trauma to a person’s eyes that can potentially cause permanent vision loss and retinal detachment. Even toy guns shooting streams of water may cause severe eye damage, particularly when they are used in close range.
  1. Games where toy fishing poles are included. The end of a toy fishing pole or the times that are secured on the fishing line may end up in a child’s eye quite easily.
  1. Toy guns with bayonets, sabers, swords, and wands. It should be obvious why these are all a bad idea!
  1. Aerosol string. These products have chemicals in them that might cause eye irritation along with a kind of pink eye that is referred to as chemical conjunctivitis. When an aerosol string is used from a close range, it may cause corneal abrasions that may lead to severe eye infections.
  1. Bright flashlights and laser pointers. Although these are not toys technically, many children love playing flashlight tag or laser tag. Children should never use the kind of portable laser pointers that are used in business presentations since these device’s light intensity is enough to cause vision to be lost on a permanent basis. High-powered LED flashlights may be dangerous since temporary blindness can be the result, which places children at risk of dry eyes and accidents such as falling.

How Can I Tell If My Child Needs Glasses?

Eye Doctors Share 6 Warning Signs

Every parent wants their child to make the most of his or her potential – both in and out of school. That doesn’t always mean you need to hire extra tutors and enroll your kid in daily after-school enrichment courses. In fact, one of the most effective ways to help children maximize their abilities is much less time-consuming and less costly. So what’s this secret method for helping kids to excel?… Schedule a pediatric eye exam to see if they need glasses!

Optimal vision is required to develop basic learning and socializing skills, such as reading, writing and forming new friendships. As you make a list of all the essentials your child needs for school, remember to include “eye exam”. Fortunately, it’s easy to cross that task off the list with a visit to our friendly eye doctors.

While only a thorough eye exam by our optometrist can diagnose if your child needs (or doesn’t need) eyeglasses, there are telltale warnings signs for parents to be aware of. The following 6 signs may point to your child’s need to wear prescription eyeglasses:

1. Squinting

studying reading boyThis can indicate the presence of a refractive error, which affects the eyes ability to focus on an image. Squinting can temporarily bring objects into focus.

2. Head tilting or covering one eye

By angling his head or covering one eye, your child may be able to enhance the clarity of an object or to eliminate double vision. This trick works best when eyes are misaligned, or when your child has the common condition of a lazy eye (amblyopia).

3. Holding digital devices close to the eyes or sitting close to the screen

If your kid always sits right next to the TV screen or brings handheld devices up to her nose to see them, it may be a sign of nearsightedness.

4. Eye rubbing

Eyestrain or fatigue may lead to excessive eye rubbing. This can be a red flag for a variety of vision conditions, including eye allergies.

5. Headaches and/or eye pain

If your child goes to bed each night complaining about a headache, it could indicate that he spent the day overexerting his eyes to see clearly.

6. Trouble concentrating and/or weak reading comprehension

When learning in a classroom, kids need to constantly adapt their visual focus from near to far and back again. They are always shifting their eyes between the board, computer, notebook and textbook. If their eye teaming or focusing skills (accommodation) aren’t up to par, they won’t be able to maintain the necessary concentration.

Problems in school are often misdiagnosed as ADD or ADHD, when poor vision is really to blame. Think about it- if your child cannot see the board crisp and clear, her mind will likely wander to more interesting things. This will make it very hard for her to keep up in class and very easy to fall behind.

To protect your child from a medical misdiagnosis or being labeled with a behavioral problem, we encourage you to reserve an eye exam as soon as possible. It’s very possible that a precise vision prescription and a pair of designer eyeglasses is all the treatment your child needs!