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Home » What's New » Let’s Play Safe: Eye Safety and Children

Let’s Play Safe: Eye Safety and Children

It’s important to know how to select toys that are the safest and the most beneficial for kids.

Infants are born with an only partially developed visual system. There aren’t many things that help a child’s visual development more easily than play, which encourages hand-eye coordination and a deeper understanding of spatial relationships. In the initial three months of life, babies can’t entirely see color, so toys with bold, black and white pictures can be really beneficial.

Kids spend a lot of time playing with toys, so it’s crucial to know those toys are safe. Firstly, to be safe, toys should be age-appropriate. It is equally important to check that the toy is good for their level of development. Even though toy manufacturers print targeted age groups on the box, as a parent, you still need to be discerning, and prevent your son or daughter from playing with anything that may lead to eye injury or vision loss.

Look to see if your child’s things are well-made and won’t lose small, mouth-size parts when played with, and check that any paints or finishes are non-toxic and not likely to peel or flake off. It’s important to let kids be rowdy sometimes, but they need to look out for objects and other things in the playground, like swinging ropes that may hit and cause harm to eyes. If something like that does happen, it can lead to a corneal abrasion, or pop a blood vessel in the eye (also called a sub-conjunctival hemorrhage). And even when there appears to be no harm, the result of the hit can manifest decades after the event, in the form of glaucoma or a premature cataract.

Avoid toys with edges or any sharp parts for little kids, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, always make sure the end is rounded. Closely watch toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6, stay clear of toys which shoot, like slingshots. Even if a child is old enough to play with such toys, you still need to closely watch children playing with toys like that. Whereas, when it comes to older kids who play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing protective eyewear.

So the next time you’re looking for a special gift for your son or daughter, pay attention to the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Ensure that there’s no harm posed to your child’s eyes.