“Timmy, that’ll shoot your eye out!!” Five Tips to Avoid Toy Related Eye Injuries

Santa
Santa recommends safe toys for Christmas!

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology to remind you of important safety guidelines when choosing the perfect gift children. Recent studies show that many popular toys are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries including air guns, toys that shoot projectiles, high-powered lasers, and sports equipment.

Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – encourage parents to follow these tips when shopping this holiday season.

  1. Beware of airsoft, BB guns, and other projectile toys. Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of devastating eye injuries caused by toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns, and other gun–related foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.
  2. Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers. A number of recent reports in the United States and internationally show that children have sustained serious eye injuries playing with high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.
  3. Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child’s age, follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.
  4. Don’t just give presents. Make sure to be present. Always make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
  5. Know what to do (and what not to). If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. Make sure to never touch, rub, apply pressure, or attempt to remove objects in the eye. If an eye injury occurs, follow these important care and treatment guidelines.

“Even though we often kid around about “poking your eye out” with certain toys, injuries to children during the holidays are no laughing matter,” states Dr. Wilson Wallace, board-certified ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “It’s easy to get distracted during this busy time of year and we forget how quickly inquisitive kids can get injured playing with certain toys. Remember these basic tips to keep your little ones healthy. And if accidents do happen, seek help right away.”

For more information on toy safety, see the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s toy safety page or watch the toy safety video.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Appointments are appropriate for all ages including children. Medicare and most insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content courtesy of AAO and Florida Eye Institute