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Kids and Eye Safety

Understandably, parents are concerned with keeping their kids' eyes safe. But it can be difficult to know which toys are the safest and most beneficial.

Infants are born with a partially developed visual system which, through stimulation, becomes more refined throughout their growing years. There aren't many things that encourage a child's visual development more efficiently than playing, which encourages hand-eye coordination and a deeper understanding of spatial relationships. The most effective toys that stimulate a baby's vision in his or her first year include mobiles with geometric patterns or bright contrasting colors and activity mats that have interactive or removable objects, balls, books and puppets. In the initial three months of life, babies can't fully differentiate between colors, so high contrast black and white pictures of things like shapes and simple patterns are very conducive to encouraging visual development.

Kids spend a lot of time playing with toys, so it's crucial to know those toys are safe. A toy that is not age appropriate is often unsafe. Don't forget to make sure that the toy is developmentally appropriate, too. Despite the fact that toy manufacturers specify targeted age groups on the box, it is up to you to make the call, and prevent your child from playing with toys that may lead to eye injury or vision loss.

Avoid toys that have points or edges or sharp components for little ones, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, always make sure the ends aren't sharp. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6 years old, avoid toys projectiles, such as arrows. Always supervise children playing with those kinds of toys. Whereas, if you have older kids who play with chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing safety goggles.

When you're next shopping for a holiday or birthday, pay attention to the company's instructions about the intended age group for the toy you had in mind. Make sure that there's no harm posed to your child.

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