Many remember one of the most famous lines from a favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story – “You’ll shoot your eye out!” Nine-year-old Ralphie doesn’t end up shooting his eye out (though he comes close), but it is the perfect seasonal reminder of how toys can cause serious harm to children and their eyes.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has named December Safe Toys and Celebrations Month to bring awareness to the eye dangers of certain toys. 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries that result in an emergency room visit are caused by toys.
Many of the common culprits are what you would expect – airsoft guns or arrows, BB guns, and paintball guns. These types of propelling toys can cause serious eye injuries like corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, increased intraocular pressure, and even permanent vision loss. It’s also important to avoid purchasing toys with sharp or protruding parts and to monitor your child while they play.
It’s not just the kids that should use caution this holiday season, the AAO also warns adults about opening champagne. A popular drink choice during the holidays, champagne corks cause serious eye injuries every year. The pressure inside a champagne bottle can cause a cork to launch out of a bottle at 50mph. Remember to always point the bottle at 45 degrees and point it away from you and your guests. Also, warm champagne contains more pressure and is more likely to pop without warning, so be sure your champagne is well-chilled.
In conclusion, be safe this holiday season and don’t delay visiting your doctor or the emergency room if an eye injury does indeed happen. Eye injuries should be taken seriously.