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Playing Safe

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Choosing the best toys with eye safety in mind is something all moms and dads are concerned with. How do we select toys that keep our kids' eyes in mind?

Babies are born with a primitive visual system which forms throughout their early years with the correct stimulation. Nothing stimulates a child's visual development better than play, which involves hand-eye coordination and a more concrete understanding of spaces and distances between objects. Good toys for stimulating a baby's sight in his or her first year include geometric mobiles or bright primary colors and activity gyms with detachable and changeable objects, puppets and balls. Between the ages of 0-3 months, a baby's ability to see color hasn't properly formed, so objects with strong, black and white pictures can be really beneficial.

Children spend a considerable amount of time with toys, so it's crucial to know those toys are safe. Firstly, to be safe, toys must be right for their age group. Don't forget to check that toys are developmentally appropriate, too. Despite the fact that toy manufacturers indicate targeted age groups on toy packaging, 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.

Steer clear of toys with edges or sharp components for little kids, and check that long-handled toys such as pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.

If your child is under 6 years old, be wary of toys projectiles, such as dart guns. Always pay close attention with toys like that. Whereas, if you have older kids who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing protective eyewear.

So the next time you're shopping for a special occasion, take note of the company's warning about the intended age group for the toy you had in mind. Be certain that toys you buy won't pose any risk to your child's eyes - even if your child really wants it.