Are the toys you are giving for Christmas on the Nice or Naughty list when it comes to vision safety? According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 265,000 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency departments in the United States in 2012. Of those, 45 percent of the injuries were to the head or face, which sometimes included injuries to the eyes.
Here are five kinds of toys that may put your child at higher risk of an eye or vision injury:
1) Toys with projectiles
Guns or any other toys that shoot projectiles can pose a serious threat of eye injury. Even toys that shoot cushy or “Nerf-style” foam darts can do serious injury to the eyes.
2) Toys with points or blades
Toys such as wands, swords or knives can easy damage the eyes. Other potential hazards include toy fishing poles. The act of waving the pole to throw the “bait” can easily result in the pole or the object tied to the fishing line flying into the eye of another player.
3) Aerosol string
Commonly known by the brand name Silly String, this toy is sprayed from an aerosol can that is often aimed at other players. The chemicals used in the aerosol can irritate the eyes and can result in chemical conjunctivitis, which is a type of pink eye. Sprayed from close range, this string can also cause abrasions on the cornea or white part of the eye that can lead to a serious eye infection.
4) Water guns and balloon launchers -
Flying water balloons can cause blunt force trauma to the eye. This can cause the retina to become detached from the inside of the eye, leading to permanent vision damage or blindness. Water sprayed from a water gun at close range can also seriously damage the eye.
5) Laser pointers and LED flashlights
Bright lights from these items, which are not intended to be toys, can cause permanent loss of vision. Bright flashlights can also cause night-blindness which can lead to falls or other injuries.
Other eye injuries can come from toys that shatter or have parts that can fly off.