During the holidays, eye safety isn’t usually top of mind when buying gifts for kids. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2017 hospital emergency rooms treated approximately a quarter of a million children with toy-related injuries. The most commonly injured part of the body is the head and face area. So during your holiday shopping this year, consider these tips when shopping for children to ensure that you buy safe toys that are age-appropriate.
Tips for Buying Safe Toys
Buy toys meant for the child’s age. Consider if younger children will also be in the home that could have access to the toy.
Avoid toys with sharp points or spikes.
Be mindful of your eyes with toys that shoot or fly like water guns, toy launchers, etc. Blunt trauma to the eye can cause retinal detachment, blindness and other serious eye damage, especially at close range. Also, BB guns are not toys!
Consider buying protective gear like goggles to accompany any sports equipment. Sports glasses can lessen the likelihood of trauma to the eye from a rogue baseball. Safety first!
Read all warnings and instructions and show them how to use toys safely. Take time to read labels and use common sense when it comes to your toy purchases. Look for toys marked with “ASTM”, which means they have met national safety standards
Purchase sturdy toys that children can’t pull apart or break easily.
If you’re unsure if a gift is appropriate for a child, discuss it with the child’s parents to see if they are okay with the toy. Even though the age ranges are a good guideline, be mindful that every child is different depending on their level of maturity. A toy safety advocacy group, World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) released a 2019 list of “worst toys” which includes the most hazardous toys that parents should avoid.