As a child develops from birth through school age, so does their eyesight. Newborns are born with blurry farsighted vision, and many children develop nearsightedness by the time they reach school. According to pediatric ophthalmologist Ellen Mitchell, MD, “One of the recommended ways we encourage vision development is to visually stimulate a child through toys. However, it’s important to pay attention to their eye safety.”\nWhile toys can be fun and educational, that doesn’t always mean they are safe. Despite warnings and age recommendations on most toys, Prevent Blindness America reports that children suffer over 11,000 toy-related eye injuries each year.\nLearn more about child eye safety, and how to select safe toys in the post below.\nCommon Eye Injuries\nSome of the common toy-related eye injuries include:\n\nCorneal abrasion \u2013 scratch\nOcular hyphema \u2013 a painful condition in which blood pools in the front part of the eye due to a broken blood vessel and can cause permanent vision problems\nTraumatic cataract \u2013 clouding of the lens of the eye that occurs following an eye injury\nOcular hypertension \u2013 increased level of pressure in the eye putting the patient at an increased risk for developing glaucoma later in life\n\nWhile these common eye injuries can be serious, the majority of eye-related injuries can be treated and have no lasting effects. By avoiding the toys below and supervising children during play most eye injuries can be avoided.\nChoosing the Safe Toys for Your Children\nWhen selecting toys for your children remember to follow these guidelines:\n\nAvoid toys with sharp edges\nAvoid toys with flying objects\nKeep toy guns (BB, paintball, pellet, etc.) away from children\nAvoid toy weapons (bow and arrow, projectiles, darts, etc.)\nAvoid fireworks\n\nWhile age-level recommendations are important to follow, parents and caregivers should decide what toys are safe for their children.\nThe following toys can be safe and visually stimulating for children:\n\nUnder 12 months: brightly colored mobiles, stuffed animals, stacking blocks\n12 – 24 months: Board books, blocks, puzzles, shape sorters, toys with lights\n24 -36 months: Finger paints, felt board and pieces, musical toys, magnetic letters\n3 – 6 years: Large crayons and markers, board games, toy camera\n9 – 10 years old: Modeling clay, bicycle, sports equipment\n\nIf an eye-related accident occurs, consult your ophthalmologist. To learn more about protecting your children’s eyes, or to make an appointment with an expert, contact the UPMC Eye Center, or call 412-647-2200.\nDo you have any favorite safe toys you recommend for children?