Looking forward to the holidays filled with adult celebrations and plenty of new toys for the kids? Have you considered eye safety when planning these good times? It’s not unheard of for a champagne cork to go awry or for a sharp-edged toy to cause an injury. In fact, approximately 2.4 million eye injuries occur each year in the United States, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.1 Most of these injuries are preventable with a little planning.
At Colorado Ophthalmology Associates of Denver, CO, we recognize December as Safe Celebrations and Toys Month by offering a few suggestions regarding eye health.
Safety First for Kids
When buying new toys, be sure to look for age-appropriate choices. Young children shouldn’t have toys with sharp edges or flying projectile parts. Remember, toys made to look like swords, clubs or lasers will be used accordingly. Parental supervision may be required with these items.
Sports equipment should be gifted along with the correct protective eyewear with shatterproof lenses. Sunglasses are not all made to withstand impact.2
Look for an “ASTM” label which means the toy meets national safety standards by the American Society for Testing and Materials. Otherwise, buy toys that won’t shatter and break off into sharp pieces.3
Tempted to buy tech gadgets? Check the labels on any laser products for the designation “21 CFR” for the Code of Federal Regulations’ approval. If gifting an electronic device, have a plan in place to limit screen fatigue and to make sure your child gets time outdoors to maintain healthy eyes.4
Gift Ideas for Kids
To get you thinking outside the smart phone or laptop box, consider some of these gifts that encourage creativity and brain development.3
- Monthly subscriptions. There are several quality subscription services available that will ship your child a kit each month to build something interesting or to create something fun. But it’s not all just for fun. Science kits explain the science behind the device—such as a trebuchet—food kids explain the basics of food science, and art kits feature an artist of the month.
- Educational games. Mensa Select® games are rated for originality, challenge and design. Language building games that challenge your vocabulary are fun for all ages. For younger children, eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills are targeted with things like building blocks and puzzles.
- Outdoor fun. Want to get the kids outside? Rollerblades, skateboards and scooters are still lots of fun. Be sure to get the safety gear, too. For nature enthusiasts, outfit your kid with hiking boots, a hydration pack and nature identification books. A trampoline safely staked into the ground is a classic as are bicycles with helmets.
- Art fun. Allow your child the freedom of artistic expression with plenty of paints, paper, coloring books, colored pencils, push-up crayons and markers. Hook rugs and potholders, sewing kits and knitting kits are all great ideas. Embroidery floss and a booklet on friendship bracelets can be lots of fun.
Safety First for Adults
Finally, plan safe celebrations for adults. When opening a pressurized bottle or beverage, cover it with a towel and point it away from everyone. When using confetti poppers, point them at the ceiling. When hanging decorations, use ladders appropriately and don’t stand on chairs or stools. Use supervision with open flames such as fireplaces or candles. Clearly mark foods that contain common allergens such as dairy or nuts. Have a designated driver arranged in advance to ensure there is no drinking and driving.
Get an eye appointment today
Make use of your vacation time to ensure your family’s eye exams are up to date. Call today at one of our two Colorado locations in Denver or Lakewood and get an appointment or stop by for a walk-in urgent visit if any holiday-related injuries do happen in spite of your careful planning.