By Guest Blogger: Aaron Barriga
Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK. Aaron loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.
Keeping Your Children’s Eyes Safe – A Parent’s Guide
It isn’t unusual for children to spend a lot of time playing with toys. As a parent, you must ensure that the toys they play with are developmentally and age appropriate. At the same time, you must prioritize eye safety and ensure the toys and other household objects don’t bring any harm to their eyes and overall safety.
Common Risks of Eye Injuries to Children
1. Danger from Toys
Toys with sharp edges or age-inappropriate toys are a risk to children. Look for ‘ASTM’ label on toys packaging as this label indicates that the product meets the national safety standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials.
2. Risk from Falling from Furniture or Stairs
Falling from furniture can hurt the eyes. Even sharp edges of furniture can be a reason for cuts or scratches on the eyes. You can prevent this by padding or cushioning the sharp corners of furnishings. Adult supervision is essential when kids play on or near the furniture.
3. Sand or Dirt Particles
Sand or dirt particles can scratch the cornea and harm the eye. Wash the eyes immediately if they enter the eyes and protect them with protective eyewear when you go for outdoor activities like treks, rock climbing, etc.
4. Danger from Kitchen and Garden Tools
Kitchen and garden tools like forks, knives, scissors, even pens and pencils may be dangerous and cause eye injury. Make sure your children use them responsibly and keep them away from the kids’ reach when not in use.
5. Contact with Harmful Household Products
Common household objects like detergents, glues, paints, fertilizers, chemicals, etc., can cause some serious harm to children’s eyes if they come in contact with them. Keep these items locked away and always supervise their use.
6. Flakes of Metal, Glass, or Craft Materials
If the child works around workshops in schools or as a recreation, they may put their eyes at risk as flakes of metal, wood, glass or stone may enter their eyes.
7. Automobile Accidents
Automobile accidents may harm the child’s eye with broken glass or sharp object that may get exposed during the accident.
You must know basic eye injury treatment in case your child hurts his/her eyes at home.
Maintaining Safety to Prevent Eye Injuries
1. Indoor Safety
- You must use safety gates at the top and bottom of the stairs
- Improve stair safety by having proper lighting and handrails
- Cushion sharp edges and corners of furnishings and home fixtures
- Use guards on all power equipment
- Install cabinet and drawer locks in kitchens and bathrooms
- Keep paints, fertilizers and pesticides in a secure area
- Wash hands after using household chemicals
- Keep desk supplies, cosmetics, kitchen utensils and toiletry products out of kids’ reach
- Follow directions when you open bottle tops of carbonated beverages or wine
- Don’t mix cleaning agents around children and turn spray nozzles away from their faces. Use chemical safety goggles
2. Toys Safety
- Read safety instructions and warnings on toys
- Allow kids to play only with age appropriate toys
- Avoid flying and projectile-firing toys, especially around kids under the age of five
- Avoid toys with sharp points, edges, rods or spikes
- Keep BB guns, slingshots, dart guns and arrows away from children
3. Car/Automobile Safety
- Always use occupant restraints like children safety seats, safety belts, booster seats and shoulder harness in cars
- Never let children under the age of 12 ride in the front seat of the car
- Make sure you store loose items, if any, in the trunk or secure it to the floor since loose objects can prove quite dangerous in a crash
Outdoor Sports Safety
- Kids must always wear protective eye gear that is specifically designed for the sport they play. If your child plays baseball, basketball, field or ice field hockey, lacrosse, skiing or racquet sports, buy the appropriate protective eye gear
- Ensure that the protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate material
- Don’t substitute protective eyewear with ordinary glasses or contact lenses as they don’t offer any protection against eye injuries
- Set an example by wearing protective eye gear yourself and consistently enforce the wearing of appropriate eye protection during sports activities.
If there is a serious eye injury, take your child to a pediatric optometrist immediately.