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December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Prevent Blindness’ Safe toy checklist

Too often, accidents involving children and toys occur and may result in eye injuries. Each year, thousands of children age 14 and younger suffered serious eye injuries, even blindness, from toys.

There are three important ways you can protect your child’s eyes from injuries while playing with toys:

  1. Only buy toys meant for their age.
  2. Show them how to use their toys safely.
  3. Keep an eye on them when they play.

Before you purchase a toy:

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child’s ability and age.
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
  • Check the lenses and frames of children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Look for the letters “ASTM.” This means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
    Remember that BB guns are NOT toys.

Before letting children play with toys:

  • Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
  • Explain how to use the toy.
  • Fix or throw away broken toys.


  • Keep young children away from toys meant for older children.
  • Supervise your children while playing.
  • Store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
  • Supervise children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
  • Have children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eye guards).