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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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It's of paramount importance to know how to choose toys that are the safest and the most beneficial for kids.

Babies are born with an immature visual system which forms throughout their early years with the correct sort of stimulation. Few things stimulate a child's visual development more efficiently than toys and activities that encourage hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. The best toys to encourage an infant's vision in his or her first year include geometric mobiles or bright primary colors and activities with detachable and changeable objects, balls, books and puppets. Until they're 3 months old, a baby's ability to see color hasn't properly developed, so simple black and white shapes and patterns are really great for their age group.

Kids spend a lot of time with their toys, so it's important to check if those toys are safe and beneficial or not. Kids should play with toys especially created for their specific age group. And it is just as important to check that the toy is good for their level of development. Even though toy companies mention targeted age groups on packaging, it is up to you to make the call, and not permit your son or daughter to play with toys that may cause an injury and loss of vision.

Blocks are a really good toy for kids of many ages, but for younger children, it's important to check that they don't have any sharp or rough parts, to decrease the risk of eye injury. Also, take note of toy size. With toddlers, any item that can fit into their mouths is unsafe. Be on the watch for objects that can be manipulated into a smaller size as well. Put that small item far out of reach until your son or daughter is more appropriately aged.

Avoid toys that have points or edges or sharp components for little kids, and check that long-handled toys such as pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely watch toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6 years old, be wary of toys which shoot, such as slingshots. Even when they're older than 6, always supervise kids playing with those kinds of toys. On the other hand, when it comes to older kids who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they have safety goggles.

When you're next shopping for the holidays, birthdays or other special occasions, pay attention to the toy makers' warning about the intended age group for the toy. Be certain that toys you buy don't pose any risk to your child.