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Focusing on Kids’ Eye Safety

It's of paramount importance to know what sorts of toys are the safest and the most beneficial for kids.

Children are born with a partially developed visual system which forms throughout their early years with the right stimulation. Few things stimulate a child's visual development better than play, which involves hand-eye coordination and a clearer understanding of spaces and distances between objects. Ideal toys for stimulating a baby's vision in their first year of life include geometric mobiles or colors, and activities that have interactive or removable objects, puppets and books. Between the ages of 0-3 months, babies can't entirely see color, so simple black and white pictures are most engaging.

Kids spend a lot of time with their toys, so it's crucial to know those toys are safe. A toy that is not age appropriate is generally not a great choice. And it is just as important to be sure that the toy is suited to their developmental stage. Although toy companies print targeted age groups on the box, it is up to you to make the call, and prevent your child from playing with anything that may lead to eye injury or vision loss.

Blocks are a great option for kids of most ages, but for younger children, it's crucial to check that they don't have any sharp or rough parts, to decrease the risk of danger to the eyes, or any other part of the body. And don't forget to look at the how big a toy is. With toddlers, a toy that is small enough to fit in their mouth is unsafe. Be on the watch for toys that can be pressed or shaped into a smaller size as well. It's advised to put small toys aside until your child is more appropriately aged.

All soft toys are best if machine washable, and, for younger children, free of tiny pieces that can be pulled off, such as buttons, sequins or bows. Don't buy toys with edges or sharp components for a little kid, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, make sure the end is rounded. Always pay attention when they play with those kinds of toys.

If your child is under 6, be wary of toys which shoot, like slingshots. Even when they're older than 6, always closely watch children playing with toys like that. Whereas, if you have older kids who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing safety goggles.

So when looking to buy gifts for a special occasion, look for the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Make sure that there's no danger posed to your child's eyes - even if it looks like lots of fun.