What Parents Need to Know About Eye Safety During the Holidays

December 07, 2019

For most children, the holidays are an exciting time of year. It’s a season of getting new toys and playing games and having fun together. But if you’re not careful, such a time can also result in injuries, even to the eyes. December is the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Safe Toys and Celebrations Month, so in the spirit of awareness, here’s what parents need to know about eye safety during the most wonderful time of the year.

Watch Out for Toy Hazards

Popular toys for children to receive during the holidays often include play weapons, such as swords, guns, plastic lightsabers, and bows and arrows. These types of toys often have blunt or sharp edges or fire projectiles that can do a surprising amount of harm if they hit someone in the eye. A toy that shoots pellets—like an airsoft or bb gun—can often propel its tiny ammunition a long way and with great speed, increasing the possibility of eye trauma.

Toys like these sometimes come with laser pointers, as well. High-powered lasers can be harmful to eye health if shone into someone’s eye. In fact, the FDA advises that parents not buy laser pointers and toys that have them for children and, if they do, that they make sure that children don’t point them at each other.

Sports equipment gifts can also lead to eye injury. Sports involving a fast moving ball, such as soccer, baseball, racquetball and tennis, can easily become hazardous. When providing equipment for your child to engage in these activities, impress the importance of safety on them and if need be, supervise them as they play.

How to Keep Your Child Safe

If your child does play with any such toys, make sure they take proper precautions with their eyes, such as wearing protective goggles or masks. Eye injuries from projectiles and blunt toys can range from mild corneal abrasion or scratching to severe retinal damage. In extreme cases, permanent vision loss can also result.

Keep in mind the age restrictions and manufacturer warnings on the toys you purchase for your child, as well. The packaging a toy comes in will usually be marked with age guidelines to indicate the level of risk that they present and maturity they require to be used. A toy that you would buy for a ten-year-old may not be appropriate for a five-year-old.

Make sure to do your research as well when considering what toys to buy. Read or watch reviews, and look at labels for safety standards and approvals from organizations like leading safety testing organization American Society for Testing and Materials. Also remember when introducing these toys into your child’s play to set practical boundaries and guidelines, as this will go a long way toward keeping your child’s eyes safe.

What to Do If Your Child’s Eyes Get Hurt

According to a study published by the United States’ Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2018, over 250 million toy-related injuries were reported in 2017. If your child’s eye gets injured as a result of playing with a toy, there are some practical first aid tips you can follow:

  • Make sure the eye stays closed (if possible), covered and untouched. Rubbing an eye injury will only make it worse. Flushing the eye with eye drops may also help if the foreign object is only on the surface of the eye.  If the injury is from a projectile, it is best not to force the eye open to examine or irrigate as further damage or infection could result.
  • If the injury is penetrative, don’t try to remove the foreign object that did the damage. Instead, cover the eye with a cup or bandage and immediately take your child to the emergency room or an urgent care center.
  • Contact your eye doctor or ophthalmologist immediately. Doctors will often have emergency numbers you can call to get in contact with them if you can’t schedule an immediate appointment.

We’re here to help your and your children’s eyes stay healthy this holiday season. Dr. Ganser is Lynchburg’s only pediatric ophthalmologist, so you can rest assured that your children’s eye health is in good hands. If you or your child suffers an eye injury or problem, or if you want to make a routine eye appointment, contact us today!

What Our Patients Think

  • Ben Crosswhite / OWNER, CROSSWHITE FITNESS
    I couldn't recommend a better doctor, a better facility, and I'm so glad I did it.
  • Brenda Edson in front of a brick home
    Brenda Edson /
    "I could not have asked for a better experience at Piedmont Eye Center. From my very first visit, the staff was friendly, knowledgeable, and genuinely interested in me."
  • Bobby Moore /
    "I wish I would have done it many years ago now."
  • Bryan Mitchell outside of a football stadium
    Bryan Mitchell / ANALYST
    "My vision was the best it had been since I was a teen. I had my LASIK surgery performed almost 2 years ago, and it is as good today as it was then."
  • Caroline Trexler /
    "They ensured that the entire process from preliminary appointments to follow up visits went seamlessly – the perfect team that gave me perfect vision."
  • Charles / RETIRED COMMANDER , UNITED STATES NAVY
    "All and all, this has been a very pleasant and beneficial period for me. I recommend it highly for anyone in a similar situation.'
  • Cynthia Stewart standing outside
    Cynthia /
    "I feel almost like a new person It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up in the morning and be able to actually see across the room without fumbling for my glasses. "
  • Frances / RETIRED
    "Dr. Ceballos has always been very positive, clarifying everything medically, never leaving me in doubt and has always made me feel special and important."
  • Guy / RETIRED
    "The procedure was painless, and now I’m happy to say I only wear glasses to read. I have 20/20 vision in my left eye and 20/25 in my right. "
  • Janice Bloom standing in front of a tree
    Janice Bloom / ADMISSIONS DATABASE & COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
    "Dr. Bowers and his staff treated me with the utmost in professional care, making sure I was comfortable throughout the entire process."
  • Barbara / RETIRED
    "The procedure was pain free and I am so pleased with the results. It was money well spent and it is unbelievable how clear and colorful everything is. I want to tell Dr. Bowers and his staff how grateful I am."
  • Jerome / RETIRED
    "Doctor Vogel has treated me professionally as has his staff. They have been caring and have answered my questions to my satisfaction."
  • Jon Dupin standing outside of a brick home
    Jon Dupin / PASTOR
    "LASIK is not just a medical advancement to me; it’s a miracle"
  • Josh Brewer / HUMANITARIAN AID
    "Because of Dr. Bowers and his team at Piedmont Eye Center, my everyday life is now a whole lot easier. "
  • Judy Bowman / MISSIONARY
    "My experience of having Laser Vision Correction was fantastic. Dr. Bowers and all his staff are so knowledgeable and professional, yet very personal, warm, caring, and friendly."
  • Lucy standing in a classroom
    Lucy /
    "Dr. Bowers and his team were very comforting. The next morning, I opened my eyes and was able to see the alarm clock across the room, which I was never able to see before. It was a miracle!"
  • Martha Ann / GRANDMOTHER
    "It is a wonderful feeling to have no RX lenses. I want to thank Dr. Bowers and the Surgery Center for the freedom I feel.”
  • Monica Shelton / Featured Patient
    "Everyone told me what they were going to be doing to me and what to expect every step of the way. My experience with Piedmont Eye Center and Dr. Bowers and the whole LASIK team was awesome!"
  • Adelia / RETIRED
    "God led me to Dr. Vogel. He is absolutely the most wonderful doctor in the world. Not only is he a great doctor, he is a great ‘people person’. You always feel safe with him."
  • Penny Abbot in front of a home
    Penny Abbott / Financial Consultant
    "From the great staff who helped me, to the simplicity of setting up my flexible spending account, to my complete satisfaction and enjoyment of having clear sight, this has been an easy process."
  • Sallie Bloom / SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER
    "The staff at Piedmont eased my nerves and the procedure was swift and smooth."
  • Sue Earsing and lasik eye surgery
    Sue / CHIROPRACTOR
    "I have always seen the world through glasses or contacts, so the sharpness of vision I have now was never there before."
  • Tim / NATIONAL ENDURO CHAMPION
    “Dr. Bowers not only met my expectations, he surpassed them. I had no idea that vision like this was possible. I no longer struggle in the shadows of a course- everything is clearer.”
  • Troy Doss
    Troy Doss / ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL AT JEFFERSON FOREST
    "Piedmont Eye Center takes care of the little things to make LASIK a comfortable process."
Read More Testimonials