December is Safe Toys and Gift Month
February 7, 2017

One of the greatest joys of childhood is waking up on Christmas morning and finding Santa has been for a visit. For the average American kid, December means toys.
But while toys are fun and can play an important role in a child’s development, they can also pose dangers, particularly with regard to the eyes. Each year, thousands of children suffer serious eye injuries, some of them resulting in blindness, from toys with sharp edges, small parts and other built-in hazards.
The EyeSight Foundation of Alabama, along with Prevent Blindness America, encourages parents, grandparents and others giving toys to children this season to follow some basic common sense guidelines:

  1. Choose age-appropriate toys.

  2. Show children how to use their toys safely.

  3. Keep an eye on them when they play.

In addition to the basics, a few extra measures should be taken to further ensure your child’s safety…
Before purchasing a toy:       

  • Read any warnings and instructions printed on the box or wrappings.

  • Ask yourself if the toy fits your child's abilities and age range.

  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid edges, spikes, rods or other potentially harmful characteristics.

  • Buy well-constructed toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.

  • Look for the ASTM designation, which indicates the toy meets safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off. (BB guns are NOT toys!)


  • Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.

  • Explain to your child how to use the toy.

  • Keep young children away from toys meant for older children.

  • Supervise children while playing.

  • Store toys properly after play to prevent risks or falls.

  • Supervise craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child's eyesight).

  • Provide children with the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).

  • Repair or discard broken toys.

Making careful choices with regard to toys is well worth the effort, especially when something as precious as a child’s eyesight is at stake. Keep some of the greatest joys of the holiday season from turning into sorrows. Give the children in your life the gift of safe toys.

For more information visit Prevent Blindness: