Choosing the right toys with eye safety in mind is a concern for all parents. How do we choose toys and activities that keep our kids’ eyes safe?
Children don’t have a completely developed visual system at birth, but it becomes more refined over time. Few things stimulate a child’s visual development better than toys that involve hand-eye coordination and a deeper understanding of spaces and distances between objects. Until they’re 3 months old, babies can’t fully differentiate between colors, so toys with bold, black and white pictures can be stimulating for them.
Because children spend a great deal of time engaged in play with their toys, moms and dads need to check that their toys are safe for both their overall health, and their eyesight. Kids should be given toys especially created for their specific age group. Don’t forget to be sure that toys are right for their developmental stage. Despite the fact that toy companies print targeted age groups on toy packaging, it’s still important for you to be responsible, and prevent your child from playing with anything that may result in eye injury or vision loss.
Any plush toys should be machine washable, and, for younger children, free of very small parts can easily come off, such as buttons or ribbons. Avoid toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for a young child, and check that things with long sticks, like pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.
If your child is under 6, avoid toys with flying parts, like slingshots. Even when they’re older than 6, always pay close attention with those kinds of toys. On the other hand, for older kids who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they wear protective eyewear.
So the next time you’re looking to buy gifts for a special occasion, take note of the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Be certain that toys you buy won’t pose any risk to your child.