Safe Toys and Celebrations Month

Blog by Ivan J. Srut, O.D.
Chief of Optometry for St. Hope Foundation

Since December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month, I thought I would remind everyone about the hazards of some of the toys out there as they pertain to the eyes. At Christmas we tend to give kids what they want, and don’t always consider the safety implications and hazards they may bring.

Always try to give children age-appropriate toys. Even when doing this there is no guarantee that an accident won’t happen. It’s always fun, until someone loses an eye! Here are a few tips around the holidays this year:

1. Avoid toys with sharp edges
2. Avoid toys that launch projectiles like darts, BB guns, crossbows
3. Avoid slingshots
4. Consider safety goggles when gifting football or basketball gear
5. On New Year celebrations be very careful around fireworks!
6. When opening champagne, point the bottle away from everyone!

In my 25 years as an optometrist I have seen injuries from all of the above mentioned items. In some cases, the person was fortunate and only suffered a superficial injury, such as a scratch to the cornea, or bruising around the eye. In the more severe cases, the eye and vision were completely lost! I have seen when a firecracker has exploded in and around a person’s eye, and they have carbon embedded in their eyes and skin. At the speed a cork can hit someone’s eye they would be lucky not to suffer a permanent injury!

We all like to have fun and give gifts around the holidays. Just take the necessary precautions to avoid suffering a serious eye injury or vision, and don’t give inappropriate gifts to younger children or teenagers.

If you need us, we are here at St. Hope Foundation! Call us to set up your annual eye exams! Until next time…