Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Time to Warn Patients about Eye Injuries from Toys

"With the holiday season upon us, children are busy making their wish lists and checking them twice. But, parents may need to check them yet again to ensure toy safety. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 250,000 toy-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Most of these injuries affect children under age 15, and almost half affect the head or face. In light of these dangers, the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages parents to be EyeSmart about toys this holiday season," notes a Science Daily post.

"Some toys, like airsoft guns, BB guns and paintball guns can be particularly hazardous, with the potential to propel foreign objects into the sensitive tissues of the eye. Common eye injuries from these toys include corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract, and increased intraocular pressure. These and other injuries sometimes require children to undergo eye surgery. In most cases, the victims of these toy-related injuries were not wearing protective eyewear." Read more.

EyeSmart has come up with five tips for selecting eye-safe toys. You can copy it from this EyeSmart webpage: 

Prevent Blindness America suggests:
  • Make recommendations to family members and friends about gifts that you feel are appropriate for your child.  Be diligent about inspecting these gifts before allowing your child to play with them.
  • Inspect all toys before purchasing.  Monitor toys that your child has received as gifts to make sure they are appropriate for your child’s age and developmental level.
  • For younger children, avoid play sets with small magnets and make sure batteries are secured within the toy. If magnets or batteries are ingested, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
  • Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear (such as a basketball along with eye goggles or a face guard with a new batting helmet for baseball or softball). 
  • Any toy that is labeled “supervision required” must always be used in the presence of an adult.  Keep toys meant for older children away from younger ones.
  • Always save the warranties and directions for every toy.  If possible, include a gift receipt.  Repair or throw away damaged toys. 
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  • Inspect toys for sturdiness. Your child’s toys should be durable, with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact.  Dispose of plastic wrapping material immediately on toys as they may have sharp edges.
  • Don’t give toys with small parts to young children. Young kids tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.  If the part of a toy can fit in a toilet paper roll, the toy is not appropriate for children under the age of 3.
  • Do not purchase toys with long strings or cords, especially for infants and very young children as this can become wrapped around a child’s neck.
  • Always dispose of uninflated or broken balloons immediately. According to the CPSC, more children have suffocated from them than any other type of toy. 
Read more.

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