Every year there are more than 250,000 children who are treated in the emergency room due to toy-related injuries. More than half of these injuries are to their faces and heads. This is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology is warning parents to think about what toys are on this year's wish list before just buying them.
Quite often parents incorrectly assume that if something is on the shelves, it must be safe. However, the truth is that for any number of reasons, many toys can post a real risk to children. This is why the academy offers the following tips in order to try and prevent children's injuries:
- Make sure children are supervised any time they are playing with any type of toy or game that could be hazardous
- Avoid toys that have projectiles, such as BB guns. Toys with sharp and protruding parts are also considered dangerous.
- If a toy is particularly hazardous to the eye, make sure children are wearing the appropriate protective eyewear when playing to prevent an injury.
- Make sure the gift being bought is age appropriate. This means that if a 5-year-old is asking for a gift recommended for a 10-year-old, it's better to wait a few years before buying this toy.
- When playing, especially in households with multiple children, make sure younger children are not playing with toys intended for older children.
The hope is parents will follow these tips to avoid injuries. However, if an accident does occur, it's important to seek medical attention right away. Even if the injury does not look too serious at first, remember that many eye injuries lead to a child needing to go through eye surgery.