Its the holidays again and children everywhere can’t wait for all the new toys they’ll be receiving! December is Toy Safety Month but every year thousands of children will suffer eye injuries and even blindness from toys!
The Stats According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Roughly 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries that end up in the ER are caused by toys. In support of Safe Toys and Celebrations Month this December, the American Academy of Ophthalmology advises parents to be cautious when choosing holiday gifts for young people and recommends avoiding those that launch projectiles, such as crossbows and BB guns. The Academy also offers tips on how to safely open champagne to keep New Year’s celebrations from turning tragic.
Selection Guide: Before you Purchase a Toy
There are 3 simple rules to protect your child’s eyes from injuries while playing with toys:
- Only buy toys that are age appropriate
- Demonstrate how to use the toys properly before leaving them to play.
- Keep an watchful eye on kids while they are playing, especially young children and toddlers.
Before Leaving Children to Play with Toys
- Inspect all toys for safety and sturdy construction
- Read all the warnings and instructions on the box or packaging.
- Make certain the toy is appropriate for your child’s age and abilities
- Beware of sharp, spiky or dangerous edges
- Avoid toys that shoot, or include projectile pieces.
- Remember BB Guns are NOT toys!
- Keep young children away from toys meant for older children
- Have children wear eye protection for sports and craft projects
- Check the lenses and frames of glasses and sunglasses as they can break or shatter
- Throw away or return broken toys
- Look for the “ASTM” letters on toys.
What is ASTM?
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is an internationally recognized body that develops and delivers voluntary consensus standards designed to improve product quality, make products safer, improve international standardization and therefore facilitate trade.
Be sure all the toys your purchase are marked with the ASTM mark!