toddler playing with toys on christmas

The holiday season can be as exciting as it is stressful. There are many things to plan for, from family get-togethers to elaborate meals to, of course, gift-giving.

But throughout everything, don’t forget to keep safety in mind. Eye injuries, especially from toys and holiday celebrations, aren’t uncommon this time of year.

That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology recognizes December as Safe Toys and Celebrations Month. Here’s what you need to know:

The Importance of Holiday Safety

Many things need to get done over the holidays, especially with big family plans. Sometimes, you may not put as much care into things as you’d wish, but as long as everything comes together, you pull through for another fantastic holiday. But one thing can’t fall by the wayside, and that’s safety.

Every year, thousands of children end up in the emergency room from eye injuries caused by toys during December. You want to get your children and your loved ones’ children the best possible gifts.

But you have to be careful to make sure you’re not just getting what your children want. You also need to ensure that everything you get them is safe and child-appropriate for their age.

All this goes for holiday decorations and celebrations as well. Every year, there are accidents caused by holiday parties gone wrong, and you don’t want your favorite time of year ruined by catastrophe.

Be sure to keep safety in mind with everything you do. It isn’t hard; you need to make extra considerations and exercise common sense.

Toy Safety

Navigating the kinds of toys and games you can buy children can be tricky when it comes to gift-giving. There are lots to choose from these days, and you can buy them in person or online at any number of retailers.

But looking at toy safety can narrow down your list and ensure you get the kind of toy that’s least likely to cause an accident. First, stick to age-appropriate toys.

Don’t buy children under three toys with small parts. Look out for toys made with sharp materials. Also, be careful when buying toys that launch projectiles for children of any age.

BB guns especially are a significant hazard. Some toys, like water and nerf guns, may be safer, but make sure only to give these kinds of toys to older children.

Be wary of any toy that needs to be plugged in, and don’t let children play with any of these toys unsupervised. If any toy uses laser lights, make sure it’s labeled as compliant with 21 CFR Subchapter J.

Also, make sure that any toy you buy is labeled as ASTM F963 compliant. Both these labels mean that the toy is compliant with safety standards.

Safe Celebration

Keep your home fire safe. Don’t leave light decorations plugged in too long or near flammable surfaces.

Be careful when using the fireplace or a fire pit outside. Also, when opening champagne bottles on New Year’s, use a hand towel to cover the top of the bottle before prying off the cork. If the cork flies free, it could take out an eye or cause another injury.

As long as you think about the kinds of toys and other items you buy and use for the holidays with safety in mind, you’re sure to have safe celebrations.

Are you looking to keep your eyes safe this season? Start by scheduling an appointment at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, ME, today!