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

Let’s Play Safe: Eye Safety and Children

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Sometimes it's challenging to choose toys that will be safe for our kids' eyes.

Children don't have an entirely developed visual system at birth, but it becomes more refined over time. There aren't many things that encourage a child's visual development better than toys and activities that encourage hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Until they're 3 months old, babies can't entirely see color, so simple black and white shapes and patterns are most engaging.

Since children spend so much time using their toys, parents need to check that their toys are safe for both their overall health, and their eyesight. A toy that is not age appropriate is often not safe. And up there with age appropriateness is to check that the toy is suited to their level of development. Despite the fact that companies mention age and developmental appropriateness on toy packaging, you still need to make the call, and prevent your son or daughter from playing with anything that may lead to eye injury or vision loss.

All soft toys should be machine washable, and, especially when it comes to smaller children, made without tiny parts that can be pulled off, like buttons or ribbons. Steer clear of toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for little ones, and check that things with long sticks, like pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely watch toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys.

For kids below 6 years old, stay clear of toys which shoot, like slingshots. Even when they're older than 6, always closely watch children playing with those kinds of toys. Whereas, if you have teens who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they wear correct safety eyewear.

When you're next shopping for a special occasion, pay attention to the company's instructions about the intended age group for the toy. Ensure that toys you buy don't pose any risk to your child.