Doctors says it may be harder for online shoppers to avoid toys that could cause eye injuries. (iStock)

Doctors warn about toys and eye injuries

Canada’s eye doctors are warning parents to be careful of the toys they buy this holiday season to make sure they do not risk causing children eye or other injuries. The Canadian Ophthalmological Society says that the pandemic “adds another layer of risk” because many parents are shopping online and it may be more difficult for them to determine the safety of a toy. 

Eye injuries associated with toys can reveal “anything from corneal abrasion to retinal detachment and even complete vision loss,” says the president of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. (Canadian Ophthalmological Society)

Risks include retinal detachment, blindness

“With kids, accidents can always happen and the misuse of a toy can cause anything from corneal abrasion to retinal detachment and even complete vision loss,” says Dr. Colin Mann, President of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society. “It’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of the season while shopping for toys, but Canadians should be aware of the hazards certain toys carry before they purchase them.”

Canada has strict regulations that cover the safety of toys, but not all products for sale have been inspected and approved. The regulations govern things like packaging and mechanical hazards including projectile components and spring-wound driving mechanisms. The doctors recommend that before buying toys, consumers should check whether the products have been inspected and approved by the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA), Canadian Standards Association (CSA) or meet standards created by ASTM International, a global standards development organization. 

No toy swords or other pointy objects, advise eye doctors. (Imgorthand/iStock)

Certain toys should be avoided entirely, say doctors

It also recommends that consumers ensure the toy is designed for the appropriate age. A toy that is good for one age group may be dangerous for a younger child or sibling. For example, toys with small pieces may present a choking hazard for younger children. 

If a toy is potentially dangerous, the doctors ask that parents provide adult supervision while they are used and that parents show children how to use the toy properly to reduce risk.

In fact, the society recommends consumers not purchase any toys with sharp edges or easily removable pieces which could pose a choking hazard. It advises against buying toy guns or toys that contain lasers or aerosols. And it asks people to avoid buying long and pointy toys like swords, lightsabers and wands.

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