Gift giving is a natural part of the holiday season. However, anyone buying for children should be careful when selecting gifts. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately 251,800 children under the age of 12 went to the emergency room last year for toy-related injuries. What’s more: 44 percent of those injuries affected the face, head and eye area!

Reduce the risk of toy-related eye injuries by avoiding the following toys:

Toy Weapons

Steer clear of BB guns, airsoft guns, paintball guns and any other toy that propels foreign objects that could inadvertently hit the eyes. If a pellet hits the tissues of the eyes, it could cause trauma in the form of retinal detachment or even cataracts.

Bow-and-Arrow Set

Thanks to the popularity of the “Hunger Games” franchise, crossbows and traditional bow-and-arrow sets are hot gifts. However, the arrows can travel far and unpredictably. Even a foam or plastic arrow can seriously hurt the eyes.

Darts

Darts may seem like an innocent indoor game, but without perfect aim, they can be dangerous. If a dart makes contact with the eye, it can cause hyphema (bleeding in the eye), which raises the risk of developing glaucoma.

Drones

Drones are a new, exciting gifting option, but they are dangerous. If drones are not navigated safely by a responsible adult, they can fly right into a child’s eye, causing terrible damage.

Lasers

Certain lasers can be very harmful to the eyes. Experts say that lasers with more than five milliwatts of output power can cause serious retinal damage. If you want to purchase a laser toy, check to make sure it is labeled as compliant with the 21 CFR Subchapter J, which indicates the toy meets the Code of Federal Regulations for safe laser power limitations.

Sports Gear (without Protection)

Hockey sticks and football pads aren’t inherently dangerous themselves. However, if you are inclined to gift sports gear, make sure you include the proper eye protection. Throw in a pair of shatterproof safety goggles to protect the recipient’s eyes.

Gift Generously and Safely

The Eyesthetica team wishes you and your family an enjoyable gift-giving season. If you would like more information about keeping your eyes and your loved ones’ eyes safe from questionable toys, please contact our office. Call us at (213) 986-8789 to speak with one of our certified ophthalmologists.