Consider eye safety when choosing kids' toys

November 25, 2016

(HealthDay)—Are you planning to shop on Black Friday for holiday gifts for the kids? Experts urge you to keep an eye on eye safety when making your choices.

U.S. emergency rooms treated 251,800 toy-related injuries in 2014, according to a report last year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Forty-four percent of those injuries were to the head and face area.

And a recent study in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology said basketball, baseball and air guns caused nearly half of all primary sports-related eye injuries.

"When giving the gift of sports equipment, Prevent Blindness strongly urges also providing sports eye protection," Hugh Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness, said in a news release from the group.

"An eyecare professional can provide guidance for the best protection for each sport and athlete," he added.

Prevent Blindness also offers these toy safety tips:

  • Don't buy toys that shoot or include parts that fly off, or toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods or edges.
  • Choose toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous pieces, and be sure toys are suitable for a child's ability and age.
  • Don't give toys with small parts to young children, because they tend to put things in their mouths. And avoid toys with long strings or cords, especially for babies and very young children.
  • Dispose of uninflated or broken balloons immediately.
  • Read all warnings and instructions on the package, and always supervise children and show them how to use their safely.
  • Look for the letters "ASTM." This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Explore further: Consider eye safety when toy shopping

More information: Safe Kids Worldwide has more on toy safety.

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