Health Holiday

Safe Toy Checklist for Eye Safety

Young children are often described as “accidents waiting to happen.” Too often, accidents do occur and may result in eye injuries. Each year, thousands of children age 14 and younger suffered serious eye injuries, even blindness, from toys.

There are three important ways you can protect your child’s eyes from injuries while playing with toys, namely: Only buy toys meant for their age; Show them how to use their toys safely, and keep an eye on them when they play.

Eye safety guidelines for toy selection are also important. Before you purchase a toy, remember:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child’s ability and age.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
  • Check the lenses and frames of children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  • Remember that BB guns are NOT toys.

Also, before letting children play with toys:

  • Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
  • Explain how to use the toy.
  • Fix or throw away broken toys.

Always:

  • Keep young children away from toys meant for older children.
  • Supervise your children while playing.
  • Store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
  • Supervise children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
  • Have children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).

The preceding article, brought to you by Dr. David Heitmeier, was a news release from Prevent Blindness America. For further questions please contact Heitmeier, Armani, Langhetee and Cangelosi Medical and Surgical Eyecare at (504) 368-7081.

About the author

Dr. David Heitmeier

Dr. David Heitmeier

A lifelong resident of the West Bank, David Heitmeier is a Doctor of Optometry and owns and manages one of the region's most successful clinical practices. A 1979 graduate of Holy Cross High School, Doctor Heitmeier went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Biological, Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Completing his education with a doctorate in Optometry in 1987 from the University of Houston, he chose to work in the community he loves and founded Heitmeier & Armani - Medical and Surgical Eyecare. Doctor Heitmeier's commitment to hard work and innovation has earned him the admiration of his colleagues in the field of healthcare. He has lectured on business organization and efficiency and has taught the principles of patient service and ethics around the country.

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