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Focusing on Kids’ Eye Safety

Buying the right toys with eye safety in mind is a concern for all parents. How do parents choose toys that keep their kids' eyes in mind?

Infants are born with an only partially developed visual system. Nothing stimulates a child's visual development better than play, which encourages hand-eye coordination and a deeper understanding of spatial relationships. Between the ages of 0-3 months, a baby's color vision hasn't properly formed, so objects with bold, black and white pictures can be really beneficial.

Since children spend a great deal of time playing with toys, parents need to make sure their toys are safe for their eyes as well as their total safety. A toy that is not age appropriate is generally unsafe. And it is just as important to make sure that toys are developmentally appropriate, too. Although toy manufacturers specify targeted age groups on the box, it is up to you to make the call, and not permit your child to play with anything that may lead to eye injury and loss of vision.

Avoid toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for little kids, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, always make sure the end is rounded. Closely watch toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys.

For children younger than 6, stay clear of toys with flying parts, like arrows. Even if a child is old enough to play with such toys, you still need to supervise children playing with those kinds of toys. On the other hand, for teens who play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they wear correct safety eyewear.

So when you next find yourself shopping for the holidays, birthdays or other special occasions, take note of the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Make sure that there's no danger posed to your child's eyes.