Tips for Choosing Safe Holiday Toys for Children

December 1, 2016

December is the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO) Safe Toys and Celebrations Month. With the holidays right around the corner, shopping for presents is at the top of many people’s to-do lists. While no one buys gifts with the intent to harm others, there are certain gifts that can be more dangerous than others. Learn how to buy safe toys this holiday season below.

What toys are dangerous?

Everyone’s familiar with the movie A Christmas Story and the main character, Ralphie’s incident with his new BB gun. Ralphie’s mom’s warning of “you’ll shoot your eye out” is humorous in the movie, but some propelling toys, like airsoft guns, arrows, BB guns, paintball guns and darts can be particularly dangerous, with the potential to cause serious eye injuries like corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract, increased intraocular pressure, and even permanent vision loss.

How can you ensure your toys are safe?

Follow these guidelines when buying toys this holiday season:

  • Use caution when buying toys with sharp, protruding and projectile parts.
  • Buying a toy with a laser? Make sure that laser product labels include a statement that the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.
  • Supervise children when playing with toys or games that could cause eye injuries.
  • Make sure toys made for older children are kept out of the hands of younger children.

Want to learn more? Watch the AAO’s video on choosing safe holiday toys for children below.

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