Dr. Jim Martin 12/07/2015

Christmas_gifts.jpgWith the holiday season upon us, it's time to talk about toy safety. Keep the following tips and guidelines in mind when shopping to ensure a fun and safe holiday.

Check Out CPSC Regulations

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides the basic guidelines for toy testing and certification. You can read over the list to find out how toys are tested and how safe a toy must be before being put on the market. The high standards should give you some peace of mind, but can also be helpful when taking note of what to look out for while shopping for toys.

Take Note Of Safety Recalls

When a safety issue is discovered, manufacturers and retailers are required to report the issue and recall the product. The CPSC provides a regularly updated list of recently recalled toys. The list provides information about the product, what the potential hazard is, and what to do if you've already purchased the toy.

Choose Age Appropriate Gifts

Most toys will display the suggested age range on the packaging. Common sense will come into play while shopping as well. For example, toys with small parts should not be purchased for children under the age of 3 and toys with heating elements should be avoided for those under age 8.

If you're feeling stumped while shopping for gifts, consider toys that are designed to promote development. For babies up to 6 months, this means teething toys and soft objects in bright colors. As children get older, books, building toys, and toys promoting imaginative play make great gifts. Save arts and crafts supplies for children over the age of 4.

Pay Attention To Eye Safety

According to the CPSC, there are hundreds of thousands of toy-related injuries each year, many of them involving damage to the eyes. There are several types of toys that are most likely to cause these injuries:

projection toys, like BB guns and dart guns
toys with long handles, like swords and batons
objects with bright lights, like lasers and flashlights
toys that spray, like water guns and silly string

The toys listed can cause a range of damage, from irritation to scratching and even ulcers. If you choose toys like these, pay attention to age requirements and be sure that the toys are used only with adult supervision. 

Playing It Safe

Choosing safety tested, age appropriate, eye safe toys can help every member of the family have a fun holiday season. If you have questions about eye safety, or if you'd like to schedule an appointment with our talented and caring office staff, contact Broome Optical today.

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