Smart Shopping with Eye Safety in Mind

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid," is a quote you may recognize from the 1983 classic tale of a boy and his longing for a Red Ryder BB Gun: A Christmas Story. While Ralphie didn't shoot his eye out, there are actually many gifts that are given during the holiday season that have potential to cause an eye injury. 

When a child is playing with a toy that is not appropriate for the child's age, the risk of injury increases. The simple solution is to only buy toys that are age-appropriate for that particular child. If the toy flies, spins or shoots, it's more likely to injure a child. Even sports-related gifts, such as a bat and ball, can be dangerous. Science kits are also popular gifts for children during the holiday season, but certain reactions can be dangerous without proper precaution and care. Gaming systems, phones and other devices with screens are incredibly popular gifts during the holiday season that can cause harm to one's eyes in the form of eye strain.

"Parents often ask me how much time their child should be spending in front of a screen" said Lawrence optometrist Dr. Mike Atteberry. "I always stress to them that moderation is key, and everyone should take breaks from their screens throughout the day."

Does this mean that you shouldn't buy any of these gifts this holiday season? Not necessarily. Just remember to teach your child how to properly use the gift for the safest results. Safety glasses or goggles are a must when it comes to science kits or any toy that shoots or flies. And make sure that everyone takes much needed breaks from screen-time this holiday season. Most importantly, keep an eye on your children as they play with the toys that they receive this year. 

And be cautious on New Year's Eve as well; fireworks and flying corks from champagne bottles can be dangerous. There's no reason 2018 should end with an eye injury. Take the proper precautions so you and your loved ones can start the new year happy and healthy.

December 12, 2018