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Home » What's New » Let’s Play Safe: Eye Safety and Children

Let’s Play Safe: Eye Safety and Children

It can be challenging to choose toys that are not harmful for our children's eyes.

Babies don't have a fully developed visual system at birth, but it becomes more refined over time. There aren't many things that help a child's visual development more easily than toys that encourage hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. In the first three months of life, babies can't entirely see color, so high contrast black and white images of things like shapes and simple patterns are really helpful for encouraging visual development.

Since kids spend a great deal of time playing with their toys, parents need to be sure that their toys are safe for both their overall health, and their eyesight. Firstly, to be safe, a toy should be age-appropriate. And it is just as important to make sure that toys are suited to their developmental stage. Although toy manufacturers specify age and developmental appropriateness on toy packaging, it is up to you to be discerning, and prevent your son or daughter from playing with toys that might lead to eye injury or loss of vision.

Blocks are considered appropriate for almost all ages, but for younger children, check that the corners and edges are blunted, to lessen the chance of harm. You should also take note of toy size. With toddlers, a toy that is mouth size is not recommended. Put that small toy away until your son or daughter is older.

Any plush toys are best if machine washable, and, for younger children, free of very small parts that can be pulled off, like buttons, sequins or bows. Avoid toys with edges or sharp components for a young child, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, make sure the end is rounded. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys.

For children below 6, stay clear of toys with flying parts, like dart guns. Always pay close attention with those kinds of toys. Whereas, for teens who play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they wear safety goggles.

So when shopping for a special occasion, keep a close eye out for the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Make sure that there's no danger posed to your child.