Every year, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds everyone to consider eye health and safety during the holiday season by designating December as Safe Toys and Celebrations Month. Safe Toys and Celebrations Month is an important time learn how to protect your family’s vision, as eye-related accidents and injuries can occur in any season.
Keep reading to learn ten ways to protect your and your family’s vision during Safe Toys and Celebration Month!
1. Choose Age-Appropriate Toys
When shopping for gifts, select toys that are suitable for your gift recipient’s age. Pay attention to a manufacturer’s age recommendations for toys with sharp edges or pointy corners, as these can present an eye hazard in the hands of a younger child.
2. Set Up Your Tree With Care
The sharp needles of a fresh tree are the cause of most of the eye injuries sustained by adults around the holidays. Take precautions when using a chainsaw to cut down a live tree, and give your tree a wide berth when you release it from netting inside your home.
3. Inspect Toys For Safety
Before wrapping up a toy to give to a child, thoroughly examine it for any potential eye dangers. Toys that can shoot projectiles, even those made of soft foam, can cause significant damage if they hit an eye.
4. Hang Sharper Decorations Higher
Be mindful of where you are placing a holiday decoration with sharp or pointed edges. Placing potentially hazardous ornaments, like tin stars, high up your tree makes it less likely that it will inadvertently end up poking someone’s eye.
5. Insist on Protective Eyewear
If your age-appropriate children are playing with toys that involve projectiles, encourage every player to wear safety goggles or other protective eyewear in order to avoid toy-related accidents.
6. Watch That Cork
Champagne is perfect for the holidays, but if a carelessly pop cork hits an eye, it can cause vision-threatening eye injuries, including bleeding, abrasions, and even lead to glaucoma. Err on the side of safety by opening a bottle of bubbly in a controlled manner.
7. Store Toys Safely
When the fun is done, be sure to store new toys safely and out-of-reach of little hands which could misuse them. Toys for older children, like those with a laser light, can cause retinal damage when shined directly into younger eyes.
8. Practice Firework Safety
If you plan to celebrate the season with fireworks, closely follow basic safety guidelines, including keeping a safe distance from lit fireworks and closely supervising children using any kind of fireworks, including sparklers. The shrapnel or debris produced by mishandled fireworks can cause permanent damage to the delicate structures within the eye.
9. Supervise Celebrations
Keep a close watch on children during seasonal celebrations as they may be playing with new gifts that have not be inspected for potential hazards. In the frenzy of unwrapping, it can be easy to miss toys that could present a danger to young eyes.
10. Teach Eye Safety
Any time of the year is an excellent time to educate your children about the importance of eye safety. This holiday season, make sure they know never to aim objects at people’s faces, to avoid rough and dangerous play, and to understand the potential dangers of certain toys and activities to their vision.
However you celebrate the holidays this month, make protecting your vision a part of your festive fun. By being proactive and taking precautions, you can ensure an eye emergency doesn’t disrupt your annual celebrations this year!
Do you want to learn more ways you can keep your eyes safe? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center at one of our 5 locations in Las Vegas or Henderson, NV, today!