Selecting the correct toys with eye safety in mind is a concern for all parents. How do we choose toys and activities that keep our kids' eyes safe?
Children are born with only semi-formed vision. There aren't many things that encourage a child's visual development more easily than toys that involve hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. The best toys to encourage an infant's sight in their first year of life include geometric mobiles or bright contrasting colors and play mats that have interactive or removable objects, balls, books and puppets. In the initial three months of life, a baby's ability to see color hasn't properly formed, so simple black and white pictures are really great for their age group.
Children spend a large amount of time playing with toys, so it's important to check if those toys are safe and beneficial or not. Kids should play with toys designed for their specific age group. And it is just as important to make sure that toys are developmentally appropriate, too. Even though companies mention targeted age groups on the box, it is up to you to be discerning, and not permit your child to play with anything that might cause eye injury and loss of vision.
Blocks are considered appropriate for almost all ages, but for younger children, make sure the corners and edges are blunted, to lessen the chance of harm. You also need take note of toy size. With toddlers, any object that can fit into their mouths is not something they should be playing with. Put that small toy away until your son or daughter is more appropriately aged.
Steer clear of toys with edges or any sharp parts for a young child, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, make sure the end is rounded. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys.
For children younger than 6 years old, stay clear of toys projectiles, like dart guns. Even when they're older than 6, always supervise children playing with toys like that. Whereas, when it comes to older kids who play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they wear safety goggles.
When you're next shopping for a holiday or birthday, take note of the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Ensure that there's no harm posed to your child - even if it looks like lots of fun.