December is National Toy Safety Month
Dec 06 2016

December is National Toy Safety Month

Toys are supposed to be FUN!! - They are not supposed to injure!!  And yet, The Consumer Products and Safety Commission reports that more than 230,000 toy-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms annually...45% of those injuries are to the head and face - roughly 1 in 10 of children's eye injuries that end up in the ER are caused by toys!

We all face health and safety hazards every day.  It is critical that we stay alert.  Parental involvement is important.  As parents we need to know what our children are playing with and intervene if necessary to avoid a potential eye injury.

At this time of year, toys are on the minds of parents and children alike.  When choosing toys, check for age recommendations. When buying used toys, inspect them thoroughly for chipping paint or other defect.  Products from overseas do not have the same stringent safety requirements as in the US.  Be aware of lead paint and other potentially dangerous chemicals that children should not be exposed to.  Also beware of dart games, pellet guns, or other specialty equipment that can be part of your child's wish list.  Perhaps considering a pair of protective eyewear would be a wise addition!

Remember the 20-20-20 rule as children on school break will be spending countless hours playing games on computers, kindles, and other devices.  Extended exposure to computer screens is particularly straining on children's eyes because they are still developing - eye fatigue, headaches or spasms can also occur.  So every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break, and look at something 20 feet away.  Blinking is also important to remind them of, as blinking washes eyes in naturally therapeutic tears.

Even Christmas trees can pose a threat to the eyes.  Beware of the branches and the needles when setting up the tree.  Watch those glass ornaments and keep them out of reach of small children.  A shattered ornament could mean a trip to the ER.  Even champagne can cause serious and blinding injuries.  Did you know champagne corks can travel at speeds up to 50 enough to shatter glass?  So make sure that bubbly is chilled to at least 45 degrees.  Keep the bottle pointed away from you at a 45 degree angle.  Hold the cork and twist the bottle to open and wrap a towel around the top.  Ideally you want to hear a soft pop when opening.

December and this Christmas season is a great time to focus on eye care.  Put some thought into vision safety as you purchase those gifts.  Help save a child's sight for a lifetime!!


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