It’s that time of year again; the Holidays are here! If you’re giving gifts this season remember that nearly 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries that result in a trip to the ER are caused by toys. Parents, family, and friends always be cautious when choosing holiday gifts for the little (and not-so-little) ones.
At Cornea Associates we specialize in Anterior Segment Care; this means we’re a sub-specialty that focuses solely on the the front of the eye. We treat from the crystalline lens (the natural lens behind the iris, or colored part of the eye) out. By virtue of our area of expertise, we see a lot of patients with penetrative eye injuries, many of whom are children.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that gift-givers avoid toys or gifts that launch projectiles. BB guns or crossbows are a no brainer when it comes to gifts to steer clear of if we’re talking about eye safety, but any projectile toy can be hazardous to the eyes. Nerf guns may have soft foam darts, but they’re fired at a fast speed and can still pose a serious threat to the eyes, especially at close range. Piloted drones or toys with rotating “blades” can also cause significant damage to the eyes.
The AAO’s (and Cornea’s) guidance in regards to projectile toys is simple:
They are unsafe and you ought to consider a different gift.
If you do buy them for your children, supervise their play.
Everyone, even adults, should wear eye protection while using projectile toys.
Always follow manufacturer guidelines.
For more information, check out AAO’s video on choosing safe toys.