A Friendly Reminder This December to Give Eye-Safe Toys and Gifts
December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month, in association with Prevent Blindness America. Glenn K. Davis, II, MD shares this important information for patients of all ages to have the happiest of holidays. This would include spending quality time with loved ones instead of in the emergency room.
According to The Emergency Center, approximately 271,000 children visit emergency rooms for toy-related injuries every year. Many of these emergencies involve the eye and can result in vision loss or blindness. While we know accidents can happen, we can also avoid them by purchasing age-appropriate and eye-safe toys and gifts.
Purchase Toys and Gifts for the Right Age and Skill Level
As Prevent Blindness America encourages us, consider purchasing toys that suit the age and individual skills of the child. The abilities of infants and children under three are in development. There are age-appropriate toys full of color that will stimulate them rather than cause harm.
Older children can get very excited to receive a toy, only to find it is not appropriate for their age. This can lead not only to disappointment but mishandling of the toy. Gift buyers, as well as parents, must consider small pieces, sharp edges, and more. Is an innocent toy an accident waiting to happen?
Give Gifts That Children and Parents Can Appreciate
Accidents that involve children and toys may result in eye injuries. Serious harm can come from toys that are unsafe or beyond the child’s ability level. Young children especially need guidance on how to use the toy safely. All children benefit from supervision while playing to make sure toys remain safe.
Remember the holiday movie, ‘A Christmas Story,’ where young Ralphie wanted a BB gun. His parents always told him no and that he would put his eye out. Times may change, but parental concerns about eye safety remain the same, especially with holiday gifts. Eye safety is paramount to so much of what we do all year long, so make holiday gift giving truly fun. Select gifts that children and parents can all appreciate.
Eye Safety for Toys at Home, School, and Play
A few rules apply when gifting toys to youngsters. ‘Heirloom’ gifts inherited from family members may require special treatment or limited use. While thoughtful, some of these may not be age-appropriate for children of certain ages. Teachers face the same challenges as parents in trying to find appealing toys that are appropriate for everyone in class. See the tips for choosing safe toys from Prevent Blindness America.
Almost any toy can become a danger if the child throws or tosses it. Always instruct children about keeping toys away from their face and point them away others in the room. Remind them often about safety and the best way to play by themselves and with others. Teach children the proper ways to use and store toys when they finish playing. By starting these types of play rules early, it can set the stage for proper play throughout life.
Purchase Safe Toys with ASTM Markings
How do consumers know which toys are safe these days? Look for the letters “ASTM” on the packaging or product. This means it meets standards for national safety set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
ASTM is a collaborative organization that tests toys and many other products. Industries such as metals, paints, plastics, textiles, construction, medical services, electronics, and more adhere to their international standards.
Holiday Eye Safety and Safe Celebrations for Eyes
Safe celebrations over the holidays are not limited to the younger generation. Adults, too, have their challenges with celebrations over the holidays. Keep the good times rolling by paying special attention to adult holiday gatherings, as well. As many organizations remind us, “celebrate responsibly.” So yes, be sure to point the champagne cork away from you.
But eye safety for adults can extend to other dangers beyond the errant cork. Pine branches from the tree, old decorations, and spray snow are a few causes of reported injury. And if you think you may be safer outdoors, be ready to wear your UV protection to avoid sunburned eyes.
The caring professionals at Glenn K. Davis, II, MD hope your holidays are full of good times and great company. We look forward to helping you keep your eyes safe and well into the new year.
For excellence in eye care, schedule your appointment with Glenn K. Davis, II, M.D., today. Call our offices in Pulaski, (540) 980-1965, or Galax, (276) 236-8307, and stay in touch by liking us on Facebook. Be sure to revisit our blog for future updates and more on Safe Toys and Celebrations Month.