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Focusing on Kids’ Eye Safety

Sometimes it’s difficult to choose toys that are not harmful for our children’s eyes.

Infants are born with an underdeveloped visual system which, through stimulation, becomes more refined throughout their growing years. Nothing stimulates a child’s visual development more efficiently than toys that involve hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. The most effective toys for stimulating a baby’s visual development in their first year of life include geometric mobiles or bright contrasting colors and activities that have interactive or removable objects, puppets and books. Until they’re 3 months old, a baby’s ability to see color hasn’t really formed, so high contrast black and white images of things like shapes and simple patterns are really helpful for stimulating visual development.

Children spend a considerable amount of time with their toys, so it’s important to check those toys are safe. A toy that is not age appropriate is generally unsafe. It is equally important to make sure that the toy is right for their level of development. Even though companies print targeted age groups on the box, you still need to be discerning, and be sure your son or daughter doesn’t play with something that might be dangerous for them.

Blocks are a great option for kids of most ages, but for younger children, check that the corners and edges are blunted, to decrease the chance of any kind of injury. You also need take note of toy size. The general rule with toddlers is that a toy that is small enough to fit in their mouth is not recommended. Be on the watch for toys that can be manipulated into a smaller size as well. It’s advised to put small toys aside until your son or daughter is older.

Steer clear of toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for little ones, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, always make sure the end is rounded. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6, avoid toys projectiles, such as slingshots. Even if a child is old enough to play with such toys, you still need to pay attention with those kinds of toys. Whereas, if you have older kids who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they have protective eyewear.

When you’re next shopping for a holiday or birthday, keep a close eye out for the manufacturers’ recommendation about the intended age group for the toy you had in mind. Make sure that toys you buy won’t pose any harm to your child – even if your child really wants it.

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