Everyone wants to ensure their child is happy, healthy and safe. We often think of the possibility of choking on toys; however, poking or scratching their eyes is equally concerning. Most accidents happen at home. You can be proactive in your baby’s vision development by choosing age appropriate toys that are safe and reliable. If you have multiple children of different ages, it is important to separate toys so that each child can have a safe and fun experience. Never hesitate to contact the friendly professionals at iSight Optometry in Kelowna if you have any questions regarding your family’s eye health and well-being.
Bright, Stimulating Colours
Babies can clearly focus on brighter colours first. Soft toys that are safe around the eyes and mouth are excellent choices for birth until the first year. As baby teeth develop during this time, it is common for your child to want to chew as their inflamed gums can feel soothed with constant stimulation. Make sure toys are free from googly eyes and removable pom-poms etc. that may be able to be chewed off. Activity gyms, stacking and nesting items, balls that cannot fit in their mouths and approved rattles that are made from BPA free plastic are great choices. Rounded corners and smooth edges are ideal for eye safety.
Nursery Mobiles Stimulate Eye Coordination
It is common to place a hanging mobile above the baby’s crib to give them items to focus on when they are awake. Bright wall art and changing up their teddy bear display on a regular basis helps to stimulate their growing eyes and strengthen their evolving eye muscles. Older children may enjoy creating their own mobile as a fun arts and crafts activity. Toys and activities that stimulate hand and eye coordination help your child develop a vital skill set they can rely on for life.
Sticks and Rocks Not the Same as Blocks
While older children are encouraged to play outside and explore, babies need constant supervision in similar circumstances. Sticks can scratch the surface of your child’s eye at any age; however, babies do not understand consequences or reasoning in the same capacity. Never let your child run with sharp object such as sticks, forks, pencils; even indoors. One simple trip could have devastating consequences. Teach your children that knives are for adults only. Place dangerous objects out of your child’s reach. Ensure that Grandparents, babysitters and older siblings are all aware of your house rules to keep everyone happy, healthy and safe. There are many toys to avoid including projectiles and guns that shoot things. Many adults do not take eye safety into consideration when shopping for a toy.
Measuring cups and plastic cookie cutters are a hit with play dough. Stuffed animals and soft textures can provide comfort and relaxation. Riding toys are exciting to discover. Point out handle bars and any obtuse items on larger play sets to teach your child to be aware of protecting their precious eyes. Use non-toxic finger paints to keep your child’s eyes safe if they accidentally rub them. Always explain how to use a new toy and show your child the correct procedures to create a positive and safe learning environment.
Safety Goggles Are Cool!
Older children may enjoy getting creative with tools and equipment in the garage. Perhaps chemistry sets and home experiments are a source of inspiration in your home. The caring optometrists at iSight Optometry in Kelowna hope that you are instilling positive eye care messages. Remember…safety first! Wear your own safety glasses when working with your child and let them pick out a pair they enjoy wearing. One metal shaving or wooden sliver in the eye can cause a host of uncomfortable issues. Minimize your chance of experiencing unnecessary pain and don’t forget the safety goggles at the beginning of your task!
Bath and Cosmetic Safety
It is common for kids to splash in the bathtub or rub their eyes when they’re feeling sleepy. Always read ingredient labels to keep harsh chemicals out of reach. The wrong shampoo or soap can instantly lead to crying, red, irritated eyes. If your baby has a cold and you use some kind of chest rub like Vick’s VapoRub etc. be sure they do not touch it and accidentally transfer to their eyes as any menthol related products can severely burn. Ideally, bath toys should have rounded corners. Supervise your child in the tub at all times to keep them safe and happy. Older kids using aerosol hair products or powder based cosmetics need to be shown how to correctly apply these items to keep their eyes safe.
Sun Protection from UV Rays
Set a great example for your kids and ensure your family has up to date sunglasses this year. iSight Optometry has a wonderful selection of sunglasses and eye care products for the entire family. Monkey see, monkey do…your kid’s are constantly watching and learning. Instilling positive eye care habits early on can help everyone enjoy a lifetime of healthy eyesight.