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Keep kids’ eyes safe during the holidays

The holidays are a wonderful time for family festivities, but too many celebrations are interrupted each year due to unsafe use of toys, which can lead to serious eye injuries in children. During December, the Minnesota Academy of Ophthalmology (MAO) reminds parents to keep their children’s eyes safe from toys.

Children receive all types of potentially unsafe presents during the holidays, including BB guns, pellet guns and darts. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 250,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2010, and nearly three quarters of those injured were children age 15 or younger.

Parents should also remember that sports equipment, a popular gift, should include appropriate protective eyewear, preferably with polycarbonate lenses.

To keep children’s eyes safe from toy-related eye injuries, follow these EyeSmart tips:

  • Avoid buying toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
  • Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.
  • Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause injury.
  • Keep toys made for older children away from younger children.         

For more information about eye safety and eye injuries, visit