No one chooses gifts with the intent to harm, but some popular children’s toys can cause serious injuries. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 257,000 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2013, and and almost half of these injuries affect the head or face. In fact, about 1 in 10 children's eye injuries treated in the ER trace back to toys. Unfortunately, most of these injuries happen to children under age 15.

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‘You’ll shoot your eye out’

Some propelling toys, like airsoft guns, arrows, BB guns, paintball guns and darts can be particularly hazardous, with the potential to cause serious eye injuries such as corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract, increased intraocular pressure, and even permanent vision loss.

The good news that most eye injuries can be easily prevented by following EyeSmart toy safety tips.

Top Toy Safety Tips:

  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
  • Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
  • Ensure that laser product labels include a statement that the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.
  • Along with sports equipment, give children the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Check with your Eye M.D. to learn about protective gear recommended for your child's sport.
  • Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child's age and maturity.
  • Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.

If your child experiences an eye injury from a toy, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist – an eye medical doctor.

Learn more about eye safety and eye injuries.

Page updated: Nov. 21, 2014

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