With the children out of school for summer, it’s only natural that they are playing a lot more, both indoors and out. But, as a parent, you may need to check on them more often to make sure their toys are safe. A study just issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission reveals that more than 250,000 toy-related injuries are seen throughout United States emergency departments every year.
Out of all these injuries, most are suffered by children who are under the age of 15 and half affect the head/face. Many of these toy-related injuries end up causing serious eye damage, resulting in permanent vision problems. It’s not surprising that eye injuries among children start to increase in May and June, then peak in July. After school begins in September, the number of eye injuries takes a drastic plunge.
Toys like BB guns and paintball guns are exceptionally dangerous for children, as they have the ability to propel foreign objects deep into the sensitive tissues of an eye. For example, emergency rooms often treat corneal abrasion, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract and increased intraocular pressure as a result of toy-related injury. Children are often required to undergo some form of surgery if the eye injury is threatening enough.
Preventing Eye Injuries
While the thought of innocent children suffering from eye injuries is an unhappy one, there is some good news. Most eye injuries can be prevented with just a bit of preparation and planning when purchasing toys. Consider these tips:
- Never purchase toys that have protruding, sharp or projectile parts included
- If your child plays sports, make sure they wear the proper protective eyewear at all times
- When playing with any toy that could potentially be hazardous, make sure you provide the appropriate amount of supervision
- Be sure to read the recommended age label on any toy and make sure it is age appropriate before purchasing
- If you have children of various ages in the home, keep toys that are made for the older ones away from younger children
After an Eye Injury
If your child suffers an eye injury from his or her toy, you should always seek immediate medical attention. If the injury does not require a visit to your local emergency room, see a primary care physician, school nurse, ophthalmologist or children’s health service professional as soon as possible.
It’s important to understand that, even if the eye injury looks minor or does not seem to be causing immediate problems, a serious eye injury does not always seem obvious. If you put off medical attention, it can cause the damaged eye to worsen, resulting in permanent vision disturbances or blindness.
In the first crucial minutes after eye injuries are inflicted, follow these first aid tips for your child:
- Despite the temptation, do not rub, touch or apply pressure to the injured eye.
- If an object is stuck in the eye, do not try to remove it. This could cause further damage to the delicate tissues of the eye.
- If there is small amounts of debris in the eye, gently lift the lid and ask your child to blink over and over. The tears should help to flush any particles out.
- Do not use drops or ointment until your child has been evaluated by a medical professional.
- If there is a cut or would to the eye, gently cover it with a wet washcloth and seek immediate medical attention.
- If the injury is due to some form of chemical in the eye, gently open the eyelids and flush with plenty of cold water.
Legal Options After an Eye Injury
Toys are supposed to bring great joy to children, so it’s always a tragedy when one causes an injury. The sad truth is that, sometimes, companies who design products for children simply do not test them properly. The end result can be devastating.
While nothing can take back the fact that your child has been injured, California’s justice system provides some of the nation’s strongest tools for accountability. If your child has been hurt due to negligence, it’s time to contact San Francisco personal injury attorney Nelson C. Barry. Let us put our years of legal expertise to work for you today.