The brisk air of autumn ushers in holiday shopping season. Toy stores soon fill with eager shoppers looking for perfect toys for their children.
While you are shopping, keep safety in mind, too.
Pay special attention to the toys you purchase for your children and carefully inspect toys given to your children by well-meaning relatives and friends.
“Stop and think ahead of time. Is this toy appropriate? Don’t pick out a toy you think your child will grow into,” said Diane Bell, director of the Think First Injury Prevention Program, a Baptist Memorial Health Care project.
Each year, toys and home playground equipment cause more than 11,000 injuries to children’s eyes, according to Prevent Blindness America, a volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight.
Children who are old enough to understand the concept of safety can be taught to keep sharp objects away from their eyes and from other people, but young children may not understand. They could unwittingly stick a sharp object in their eye, causing damage to the cornea (the transparent coat of the eyeball that covers the iris and pupil and admits light to the interior) or other parts of the eye. These injuries can cause decreased vision or even blindness.
Prevent Blindness America has a safe toys checklist that is an excellent guide for parents to use, Bell said.