Yes, Ralphie, eye injuries are a real Christmas hazard

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

With all its current troubles, Hollywood got one thing right with the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story.”

It delivered an accurate cautionary tale about holiday presents, and no, it wasn’t the leg lamp.

“You’ll shoot your eye out!” is not just a catchphrase when it comes to Christmas toys, it’s an apt warning.

The World Against Toys Causing Harm group has released its “10 Worst Toys” list, including several that have potential for choking strangulation, blunt-force injuries and, yes, eye injuries.

They include a Wonder Woman sword and Spider-Mane drone, as well as fidget spinners, a baby doll with choking hazards and a pull-along pony with a cord that could strangle a small child.

The American Academy of Opthalmology notes that a number of recent studies have shown that some popular toy types are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries. They include high-powered lasers, sports equipment and, yes, air guns and other toys that shoot projectiles.

Every year, ophthalmologists treat thousands of patients with devastating eye injuries caused by seemingly safe toys, which have sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns or others that could easily strike the sensitive tissue of the eye.

Some common-sense tips from the AAO:

* Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers, between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts.

* Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. Follow age recommendations and follow instructions about assembly, use and supervision.

* Don’t just give presents and leave. Make sure you or another adult are there to prevent injury.

* Know what to do if someone does experience an eye injury. Seek immediate medical help, and while you’re waiting, make sure to never touch, rub, apply pressure or try to remove any object stuck in the eye.

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