Few things are as gratifying as buying toys for children during the holiday season. The joy and excitement of watching them open presents, however, can quickly turn to despair if a toy-related injury occurs. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you might realize. 

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, roughly a quarter-million children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year as a result of toy-related accidents. In 2017, nearly 90,000 children younger than 5 years old suffered injuries significant enough to require emergency assistance, and 44 percent of all youth toy-related injuries occurred to the face and head, which included the eyes. 

Eye injuries are serious at any age, but especially for children as their eyesight and bodies are still developing. As a result, experts offer three main ways for parents and grandparents to protect their young loved ones when purchasing toys: 

  • Only buy toys meant for their age.
  • Show them how to use their toys safely.
  • Supervise them when they play.

When considering a particular toy, read all warnings and instructions on the box and decide whether it is age-appropriate for your child. Toys often come with recommended age requirements, but they are general guidelines that do not always fit each situation. Keep in mind that buying an age-appropriate toy for an older child can be dangerous when used by younger siblings. 

Let us share a few more additional tips to help ensure eye-safety:

  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes or edges.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This designation means the product meets the national safety standards set by ASTM International.

Parents should always inspect new toys for safe construction, and explain how children should use them. Remember to supervise your children or grandchildren when they are playing and also show them how to store toys properly after they are finished. Sporting equipment, riding toys and science kits may require eye protection, such as face shields, helmets and safety glasses 

If your child has sustained an eye injury due to a toy, do not wait to contact an experienced, local attorney to learn more about your rights. We know this can be a difficult time for you and we are here to support you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Want to learn more about how to protect hearing and other safety concerns for children when you are buying gifts? In the following weeks we will be sharing more information on our blog!