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Toys and Eye Safety

It can be challenging to choose toys that are safe for our kids' eyes.

Infants are born with an immature visual system which forms throughout their early years with the correct sort of stimulation. There aren't many things that encourage a child's visual development more easily than toys and activities that encourage hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Between the ages of 0-3 months, babies can't entirely see color, so simple black and white pictures are really great for their age group.

Kids spend a large amount of time with their toys, so it's crucial to know if those toys are safe or not. Firstly, to be safe, toys should be age-appropriate. And up there with age appropriateness is to check that toys are good for their developmental stage. Although companies specify age and developmental appropriateness on packaging, it is up to you to make the call, so your son or daughter avoids playing with anything that could be unsafe.

Blocks are a really good toy for kids of many ages, but for younger children, you need to be sure that they have no sharp edges and corners, to reduce the possibility of eye injury. And don't forget to look at the size of toys. If you have little children a toy that is mouth size is unsafe. Be on the lookout for objects that can be pressed or shaped into a smaller size as well. Put that small item away until your child is more appropriately aged.

Don't buy toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for little kids, and be sure that long-handled toys such as pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6, stay clear of toys which shoot, like arrows. Even when they're older than 6, always pay attention with those kinds of toys. On the other hand, for older kids who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they have protective eyewear.

So the next time you're thinking about gifts, pay attention to the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Be certain that there's no harm posed to your child - even if your child really wants it.