December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Toys are a great way for children to develop and stimulate their sense of sight. Since children spend a great deal of time playing with toys, it is important to make sure that those toys are safe. Thousands of children age 14 and younger suffer serious eye injuries, even blindness, from toys. According to Prevent Blindness America, here are some important ways that you can prevent eye injuries from toys:
- Purchase toys that are meant for the age group of the child.
- Show the child how to use the toy safely.
- Make sure the child has adult supervision when using the toy.
- Look for the letters “ATSM.” They stand for a product that meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
- Avoid buying toys with sharp points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
- Check toys to make sure that they are sturdy. Avoid toys that can shatter into small pieces or shards.
- Store toys in a safe place to avoid trips and falls.
Children under the age of 6 should not play with slingshots, dart guns, or arrows. Older children playing with such toys should always be supervised. If you are interested in learning what a safe toy may be for your own child, here is a helpful list from All About Vision about which toys are recommended for different age groups.