As you prepare to hit the stores this holiday season, Prevent Blindness America, encourages you to consider your choice of gifts. This non-profit group is dedicated to advocating for healthy vision and has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month to help adults make smart purchase decisions.
Consider these stats:
- Hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 265,000 toy-related injuries in 2012 throughout the United States1.
- 72% were people less than 15 years of age1.
- Close to 90,000 were people less than 5 years of age1.
- Each year, thousands of children aged 14 and younger suffer from eye injuries and even blindness from toys2.
Understandably, you are likely excited to indulge your children as well as children in your family.
However, Prevent Blindness America urges you to keep important safety guidelines in mind as well as the age range for toys you purchase:
- Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
- Consider if the toy is appropriate for your child’s ability and age.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
- Check the lenses and frames of your children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
- 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.
- Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
- Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
- Fix or throw away broken toys.
- Keep your young children away from toys meant for older children.
- Make sure your children store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
- Supervise your children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
- Have your children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).
Make recommendations to your family and loved ones this holiday season when it comes to toys and gifts you feel are safe and appropriate for your children. It may feel as if your concern is gratuitous, but taking extra precautions may help prevent an injury and will help you enjoy the holidays in your home, not in your local urgent care center or emergency room.
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1: “Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toys-and-gifts-awareness-month
2: “Safe Toy Checklist.” Prevent Blindness America. https://www.preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist
This blog is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide any purchasing recommendations. Before making any purchasing decisions, review any policy exclusions, limitations, benefits, and costs. We encourage you to speak with a licensed insurance professional regarding your specific needs.