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Keeping Toys Safe for Eyes

Sometimes it's a challenge to know which toys are safe for our children's eyes.

Children are born with an immature visual system which forms throughout their early years with the correct stimulation. Nothing stimulates a child's visual development better than toys that involve hand-eye coordination and a deeper understanding of spatial relationships. The most effective toys for stimulating a baby's vision in their first year of life include geometric mobiles or bright contrasting colors and activity gyms with detachable and changeable objects, puppets and books. In the initial three months of life, babies can't completely see color, so toys with strong, black and white pictures can be stimulating for them.

Because kids spend a great deal of time playing with toys, parents need to make sure their toys are safe for both their overall health, and their eyesight. A toy that is not age appropriate is usually unsafe. It is equally important to be sure that the toy is good for their level of development. Even though companies include targeted age groups on the box, it is up to you to be discerning, so your child avoids playing with anything that could be unsafe.

A great toy for most age groups is blocks, but for younger children, check that the corners and edges are blunted, to decrease the risk of eye injury. You also need take note of toy size. With toddlers, any item that is mouth size is not something they should have access to. Be on the watch for objects that can be manipulated into a smaller size as well. Put that small item aside until your child is more appropriately aged.

Don't buy toys with edges or sharp components for young children, and check that long-handled toys such as pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Always pay attention when they play with those kinds of toys.

For children below 6 years old, stay clear of toys which shoot, like arrows. Even if a child is old enough to play with such toys, you still need to pay close attention with those kinds of toys. Whereas, if you have teens who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing safety goggles.

When you're next shopping for a holiday or birthday, keep in mind the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Ensure that there's no harm posed to your child - even if your child really wants it.