Prevent Eye Injury: 10 Toys for Kids to Avoid

For most kids, the holiday season is toy season. For adults, that means shopping and picking out toys kids will love. This holiday season, take special care to buy toys that are not only fun, but also safe. Eye injury can occur with little help from dangerous toys and introducing one into the household can unnecessarily increase the risk of an emergency room trip. Below is a list of toys that are best avoided. Some of them may be fun, but they pose too great a risk.

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Your optometrist will thank you for avoiding these toys:

1. Slingshots

An old-school toy with grave consequences, the slingshot (and all variants) is a bad idea. Any toy where the object is launching a projectile is best avoided. Although that seems like common sense, new toys with that premise find their way onto shelves each year. Steer clear, for your eyes.

2. Toy Guns

Toy guns have always been popular and there have been measures taken to make them safer. That said, anything that shoots is an immediate threat to eyes. Even Nerf bullets can still pack a wallop and it takes very little impact to do damage to the eyes.

3. Chemistry Sets

Chemistry sets can be educational and valuable under the right supervision. Without it, many chemistry sets involve chemicals and substances that shouldn’t be anywhere near eyes. Unfortunately, that’s hard to enforce when kids are involved.

4. Toy Swords

Another idea that sounds fun in theory, a toy sword (even if it’s foam) is a pointed object that is swung around without much care for where it’s landing. The bad news: that landing is often the eye. That turns a game into a crisis in no time flat.

5. Water Guns

Water guns don’t look as sinister as Nerf guns (or similar styles), but looks can be deceiving. Blasting water into someone’s eye poses a significant danger to the eyes and water guns are best left behind at the toy store.

6. Silly String

Fun at parties and as a potential stocking stuffer, aerosol string (like Silly String) can be a dangerous eye irritant. Without great care, getting aerosol string chemicals in the eye can cause damage and require an immediate visit to a doctor.

7. Goops/Slimes/etc.

There have been countless types of sand, slime, goop, and glop over the years. One constant: it doesn’t belong in eyes. For kids, that concept can be hard to grasp and because of that, it’s a good idea to keep the foreign-substance-based gifts to a minimum.

8. Flying Toys

Now that drones are sold almost everywhere, they’re sure to be a popular gift this holiday season. While drones and other flying toys are cool, they do pose the risk of flying into someone’s eye. To minimize this risk, make sure that all drones are going to age-appropriate recipients.

9. Laser Pointers

Lasers have always had a negative relationship with eyes. From laser pointers to laser tag, bright lights don’t belong in eyes and can have a significant damaging effect. Before you buy anything with ‘laser’ in the name, consider where it might be pointed.

10. Boxing Gloves

Whether or not they’re shaped like Hulk hands, anything that encourages a kid to throw errant punches is a bad idea. What starts off as innocent fun can quickly turn into an eye injury. If you do go the boxing glove route, make sure to buy a boxing bag so the intended punching target is clear.

Of course, even if all of these toys are avoided, nothing beats adult supervision in all cases on gift-giving and gift-enjoying. Keep those eyes safe this holiday season and have happy holidays and a safe New Year!


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