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Consider Eye Safety When Toy Shopping

SATURDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- When you're holiday shopping for toys, remember to think about eye safety.

Some toys -- such as air guns, BB guns and paintball guns -- can be particularly dangerous and can cause injuries that may require children to undergo eye surgery, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

It's easy to prevent toy-related eye injuries. The AAO offers the following tips:

  • Don't buy toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
  • Make sure children have appropriate supervision when they're playing with toys or games that could lead to an eye injury.
  • When playing sports, have children wear appropriate protective eye wear with polycarbonate lenses.
  • Check toy labels for age recommendations and opt for a toy that is appropriate for a child's age and maturity.
  • Keep toys designed for older children away from younger children.

"Many toys have the potential to cause eye injuries," Dr. David Hunter, a pediatric ophthalmologist and spokesperson for the AAO, said in an academy news release. "Being aware and thoughtful about what you are putting in your children's hands is the best preventative medicine."

"A good rule of thumb for parents is to choose toys that are appropriate for their child's age and abilities, as well as the parents' willingness to supervise use of the toy," he added.

More than 250,000 toy-related injuries are treated in U.S. emergency rooms each year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Many of those injuries occur in children under age 15 and almost half involve the head or face.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about choosing safe toys.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology, news release, Dec. 4, 2012

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