Parents often warn their children not to play with certain objects or run too fast or else “you’ll poke your eye out!” It is something everyone has grown up hearing, but as we make sure our own kids learn how to play responsibly, parents might find themselves repeating this phrase more and more often. To help every parent keep their kids injury-free, and in honor of Home Eye Safety Month, The Colony ER Hospital wants to talk about some of the best ways to prevent kids’ eye injuries.
Playing it Safe
One the easiest ways for children to get hurt around the house is when they’re playing. From running around in the yard to building Lego cities, kids can often fall or drop things which might get result in an injury. When it comes to eye injuries, in specific, parents should watch out for how their children play and what they play with that might injure their eyes.
- Avoid projectile toys like darts, bows and arrows, or anything that fires missiles. Sometimes these toys can be safe for older children who play responsibly, but make sure they know the rules and never point these toys at someone’s face.
- Do not allow your children to use BB guns, non-powder rifles, or air guns. While these might seem safe, since there are no bullets involved, they can still cause injuries when misused. Young children should not be allowed to play with these devices.
- Make sure your child’s toys are marked by the American Society for Testing & Materials (ASTM for short) to ensure they are properly made. This can help prevent any toys breaking or spraying and possibly injuring your child.
- Never allow your child to play with ignited fireworks of bottle rockets without safety goggles and careful adult supervision.
When parents pay attention to they toys their children play with, they are better equipped to teach their kids how to play safely. With the whole family aware of playtime rules, your child’s risk for eye injuries will go down.
Around the House Safety
Playtime, though, is not the only time your child might get hurt or harm their eye. Sometimes it happens on accident during chores or household crafts. Some injuries can happen as quickly as it takes for a child to trip! Knowing what might be a risk will help parents to store household objects properly as well as teach their children how to safely help out around the house.
- Corrosive chemicals and household cleaners should be kept out of reach for children. These chemicals can be harsh on a child’s eye, so even if they just look into the bottle out of curiosity, the fumes can irritate their eyes and leave them more vulnerable to infections.
- Be wary of small items like scissors, paperclips, and pencils. While older children are more aware of how to handle these safely, young children and toddlers should not be allowed to play with them.
- Keep bungee cords and other tight elastic properly stored and do not let your children try to unhook or secure bungee cords. Sometimes the tension can make these cords snap and flail out when they’re released, and they run a risk of hitting your child in the face and hurting them.
- Car seats and seat-belts should always be properly secured for kids in the car, and loose objects stored in the trunk to avoid any automotive risks.
- For toddlers and infants, keep security gates on the tops and bottoms of stairs so that you can make sure you are always there when they climb the steps.
- When your kids are helping with any household projects, make sure they wear safety goggles or glasses. Paint, wood shavings, and household tools can all be a risk for unsupervised children. Teaching your children how to help with crafting projects is fun and educational, so just be cautious and make sure no one gets hurt.
With some careful storage and house rules, any family can follow these safety tips. Explain to your children why you don’t want them to use certain objects or why you need them to do things a certain way around the house. When children know you are looking out for their health and understand the rules, it will be easier to follow.
With playtime and household hazards taken care of, there is one more activity which might pose a risk for your child’s eye health: sports!
Many children have after-school sports or activities that they take part in, from football and soccer to karate and gymnastic, and in most cases, these activities can increase the likelihood of someone getting hurt. When your kids play sports, the first step to eye safety is to familiarize yourself with the activities they will be doing. Talk to the team coach to get an idea for what equipment your child will need and double-check the regulations of any particular league your child is in to make sure you’re getting the right supplies. Look for some of the following:
- Any eye guards or helmets fit properly and are not cracked or damaged.
- If your child needs prescription lenses, make sure that their glasses or contacts are safely accommodated for
- Teach your child safe, respectful sportsmanship. Sometimes kids get too riled up during a game and might try to elbow someone or do something they shouldn’t. Teaching your child healthy ways to be a good sport and a good player are key.
- For martial arts, make sure your child has any head padding they might need and remind them to listen to their instructor and never strike someone without padding and supervision.
- For gymnastics or dance classes, get a look at the facility and the instructors. Check out online reviews and talk to other parents. While the risk of eye-specific injuries is sometimes lower when your child is not making athletic contact with other kids, you want to be diligent and ensure that their instructors aren’t cutting corners on safety.
When your child is safe at all of their games, matches, and competitions, their eyes will stay healthy and their love for their respective sport will shine even brighter.
Eye safety is an important part of your child’s health. When children suffer eye injuries or infections, it can have lasting effects on their health and contribute to eye conditions like blindness. So make an extra effort this month and make sure your family knows where the household risks are, and how to make sure everyone stays safe.
In the event of any accidents or medical emergencies, The Colony ER Hospital is open 24/7 with concierge-level medical care. Our board-certified doctors treat adults and children alike, even on weekends and holidays.
This blog is written by Maggie Berardo, content writer at Nutex Health.
Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on The Colony Emergency Room Hospital or any one of our concierge-level, freestanding emergency facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.