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Happy holidays from Berkeley Eye Center!

The holiday season is upon us — which means it’s time to start shopping for Christmas. We’re sure your kids have already given you a list of everything they want this year. When you’re out doing your Christmas shopping, we urge you to carefully examine each item on their wish list to make sure the items are safe and appropriate for your child. There are many toys and other products marketed for kids that have the potential to cause serious eye injuries and other harm.

Nobody Wants an Eye Injury for Christmas

Toymakers in the U.S. adhere to a mandatory set of safety rules and regulations under ASTM F963 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety, created under ASTM International. Despite these rules and regulations, there are still a lot of potentially dangerous kids’ products on store shelves. According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Commission, emergency rooms treated over 240,000 toy-related injuries in 2016. Many of these were eye injuries. Toy-related eye injuries can range from mild irritation or mild corneal abrasions to serious and sight-threatening injuries such as bleeding inside the eye, fractured orbital bones or retinal detachment.

Avoid Buying Toys That Could Cause Eye Injuries

Here’s some safety tips to keep in mind when shopping for gifts for younger children:

  • Only select toys and other gifts that are appropriate for the child’s age and developmental level.
  • Try to avoid toy weapons/projectile toys – anything with shooting parts, pointed ends or parts that fly off, things that could potentially cause eye and face injuries.
  • Keep fireworks out of the hands of younger children; closely supervise when used by older children.
  • If you buy sporting equipment, make sure it’s age and size appropriate and don’t forget to include proper eye safety gear, such as goggles, glasses or helmets.
  • Inspect any playground equipment for parts that could possibly cause eye injuries
  • Keep high powered laser pointers out of the hands of kids – even a few seconds of laser exposure to the eye has the potential to cause severe retinal damage.
  • Supervise children when they’re playing with potentially hazardous toys.
  • Know what to do if an eye or other type of injury occurs.
  • Keep toys intended for older children out of the reach of younger ones.
  • Hold on to the product warranty documentation and user directions that come with the gifts.

Toys That Have the Biggest Potential to Cause Eye Injuries

World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that releases an annual list of the top 10 most unsafe toys of the year. According to this year’s list, the top toys most likely to cause eye injuries are:

  • Nerf Vortex Praxis Blaster
  • Marvel Black Panther Slash Claw
  • Power Rangers Super Ninja Steel Superstar Blade
  • Stomp Rocket Ultra Rocket

If your child suffers an eye injury from a toy or gift, seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Berkeley Eye Center wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday season. If it’s been a while since you had your eyes checked, do yourself a favor and schedule a comprehensive eye exam with one of our outstanding Houston eye doctors. Berkeley Eye Center has been protecting the vision of Texans for over 60 years and provide a full range of services including eyewear, LASIK surgery and oculoplastic procedures. We have eye centers located all across the Greater Houston area, so call today to schedule an appointment!