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Home » What's New » Playing Safe: Kids and Eye Safety

Playing Safe: Kids and Eye Safety

Choosing the right toys with eye safety in mind is something all parents worry about. How do we select toys that keep our kids' eyes in mind?

Infants are born with an immature visual system which, through stimulation, becomes more refined throughout their growing years. Nothing stimulates a child's visual development better than play, which involves hand-eye coordination and a clearer understanding of spatial relationships. Ideal toys for stimulating a baby's visual development in his or her first year include mobiles with geometric patterns or bright contrasting colors and activity mats that have interactive or removable objects, puppets and books. Until they're 3 months old, babies can't fully see color, so toys with strong, black and white patterns can be stimulating for them.

Children spend a considerable amount of time playing with toys, so it's crucial to know those toys are safe. Children should play with toys designed for their specific age group. Don't forget to check that the toy is developmentally appropriate, too. Although toy companies indicate age and developmental appropriateness on the box, you still need to be discerning, and not permit your son or daughter to play with anything that may result in eye injury or vision loss.

Blocks are safe for almost all ages, but for younger children, you need to be sure that they have no sharp edges, to lessen the chance of eye injury. And don't forget to take note of the size of toys. With toddlers, any object that is mouth size is unsafe. It's advised to put small toys aside until your child is no longer at risk of choking.

Steer clear of toys that have points or edges or sharp components for little kids, and check that long-handled toys such as pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely watch toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys.

If your child is under 6, stay clear of toys which shoot, such as arrows. Even when they're older than 6, always pay attention with toys like that. On the other hand, when it comes to teens who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing protective eyewear.

When you're next looking to buy gifts for the holidays, birthdays or other special occasions, keep a close eye out for the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Ensure that there's no harm posed to your child.