Child Eye Injuries: Toy Safety

Product Liability
Product Liability

In 2016, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that roughly 174,000 children younger than 15 were treated for toy-related emergencies. It’s easy for parents to purchase a toy and give it to their children without considering the potential harm the toy may cause. While innocent, even a Teddy bear can become deadly for small children. For example, a Teddy bear can become a choking hazard if the button eyes come off. Although most toys are relatively safe, it’s all too easy for an everyday object to become dangerous.

Different Types of Toy Hazards

Choking hazards are usually first on everyone’s mind when buying a toy, but some toys pose a greater risk such as vision loss. A recent survey from All About Vision revealed that 41 percent of parents “never” considered their child’s safety when purchasing toys. The survey also found that 54 percent of parents also “definitely” owned a toy that could harm their child’s eyes. Toys like lasers, games that come with a fishing pole, and even drones are a risk for injuring your child’s eyes. Unsuspecting toys that possess the greatest risks to your child’s eyes include:

Silly String

We all know, every good birthday party has silly string. Silly string is enjoyable, however, when used wrong it can cause eye scratches, eye infections, and, in extreme cases, vision loss. Most cans claim its products are not flammable, but that isn’t always the  case . Because the can is an aerosol spray, the chemicals in the can have the potential to turn into a flamethrower if around an open flame.

Toy swords and wands

Every year the World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH) releases a  list  of the “10 Worst Toys” for your children. The 2017 list has a few toys to look out for. For instance, the Wonder Woman Battle-Action Sword ranks third on WATCH’s list. The organization says the “sword blade has the potential to cause facial or other impact injuries”

Toy guns that can shoot

Most toy guns that shoot any type of projectile usually come with a choking hazard warning. Unfortunately, warnings about eye safety are often overlooked. A Nerf Zombie Strike Dreadbolt Crossbow is 6th on the list of “10 Worst Toys” put out by WATCH. These toys possess a potential for “eye and facial injuries” due to the force at which the arrows fly out of the bow.

Although we purchase toys for our children with fun in mind, we never expect these rather innocent toys to cause eye injuries. Parents should always read instructions for toys to ensure toys are properly used and that their child meets the age requirements of the toys.

Injuries from toys

Even though toy-related injuries may seem more prevalent during the holidays they can certainly appear throughout the year. Some injuries, like a foreign object in your eye, may require immediate care. However other injuries, such as a swollen eyelid, can be taken care of from the comfort of home with a simple ice pack. Common eye injuries include:

  • Corneal abrasions, scratches on the eye

  • Hyphema, pooling of blood in the eye

  • Vision loss

  • Rupture of the eyeball

It’s important to remember that all  eye injuries  should be treated as an emergency and you should see a specialist as soon as you can.

Preventing eye injuries

Although young children are at a higher risk for toy-related injuries, older kids and adults are also at risk for these injuries. The CPSC reported that in 2016 roughly 240,000 people were treated for toy-related injuries and 45 percent of these people were treated for injuries to the head/face. Statistics like these can be frightening but how can we prevent these things that seem unpreventable?

  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp items or toys that can propel objects

  • Follow age restrictions on toys  

  • Provide adult supervision when necessary

  • Pay attention to toy recalls

Another important reminder for toy safety is that age restrictions on toys are based on age and not maturity. Most parents may think their child is mature enough to play with something they’re too young for but it never hurts to be more cautious with safety.


This blog post was submitted by The Carlson Law Firm.

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