Keep Your Eye On Toys

I seem to get an endless stream of emails advising of toy and equipment recalls for young childrens' safety from various companies.

A parent should be just as concerned at the purchase stage for their childs eye safety when choosing new toys. As a child is born with underdeveloped  sight newbons will only see things really close up and once they get to toddling age they are often farsighted. By school age some kids need corrective glasses. A child is always being visually stimulated and nothing does that more so than a toy. As most childhood accidents occur at home many of them are relevant to the choice of toy as kids spend a lot of time time playing with them so it's really important to ensure that those you choose are safe overall as well as safe for their eye health.

Toy size is important. If a toy is large enough to not be mouthed but can be manipulated into  smaller pieces then put the toy away until your child is older. Ensure their  constructed so they won't break apart and double-check that  paints and finishes are non-toxic and not likely to peel or flake off.

Cuddly toys should avoid having ribbons or buttons on them that can be pulled off or will catch eyes and skin and without debate avoid toys with sharp or rough edges. Long handled toys should ideally have rounded handles, and always be supervised when being played with.

Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air  like bows and arrows , slingshots or dart guns especially for children under 6.  Older children that play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools should be given plastic safety goggles. It is a good rule to stick with the age related or developmental recommendations on toys.

The World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.)  back in 2011 featured two toys that could particularly cause harm to a child's eyes. Though age recommendations were given on the packaging and warnings for choking hazards were provided none of them mentioned warnings for eye safety though they obviously posed a threat for such, as such they were recalled.
As toy manufacturers don't always get the age recommendations on their packaging right, the burden is on you as the consumer and parent to be smart and not allow your young child to play with toys that could easily result in an eye injury and even vision loss.