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Focusing on Kids’ Eye Safety

Buying the correct toys with eye safety in mind is a concern for all parents. How do we select toys and activities that keep our kids' eyes safe?

Infants are born with only semi-formed vision. Few things stimulate a child's visual development more easily than toys and activities that encourage hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Until they're 3 months old, a baby's ability to see color hasn't really formed, so simple black and white shapes and patterns are most engaging.

Kids spend a lot of time playing with their toys, so it's good for parents to know if those toys are safe or not. Children should be given toys especially created for their own age group. Don't forget to be sure that toys are developmentally appropriate, too. Although toy manufacturers include targeted age groups on the box, you still need to be discerning, and be sure your son or daughter avoids playing with anything that could be harmful to them.

A safe and educational toy for most age groups is blocks, but for younger children, it's crucial to check that they don't have any sharp or rough parts, to reduce the chance of harm. You also need take note of toy size. With toddlers, a toy that is small enough to fit in their mouth is unsafe. Put that small toy away until your son or daughter is older.

Steer clear of toys with edges or sharp components for young children, and be sure that long-handled toys such as pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6 years old, be wary of toys with flying parts, such as arrows. Always pay attention with those kinds of toys. On the other hand, for older kids who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they have correct safety eyewear.

So the next time you're looking to buy gifts for the holidays, birthdays or other special occasions, take note of the toy makers' advice about the intended age range for the toy you had in mind. Be certain that toys you buy won't pose any harm to your child.