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Focusing on Kids’ Eye Safety

Understandably, moms and dads worry about keeping their kids' eyes safe. But it can be difficult to know how to choose the toys that are the safest and most educational.

Children are born with only semi-formed vision. Nothing stimulates a child's visual development more efficiently than toys that involve hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Good toys to encourage a baby's sight in his or her first year include geometric mobiles or colors, and play mats that have interactive or removable objects, balls, books and puppets. Between the ages of 0-3 months, babies can't fully differentiate between colors, so simple black and white shapes and patterns are really great for their age group.

Kids spend a considerable amount of time with toys, so it's good for parents to know if those toys are safe or not. A toy that is not age appropriate is usually not safe. Don't forget to be sure that toys are developmentally appropriate, too. Despite the fact that companies indicate age and developmental appropriateness on the box, it is up to you to make the call, so your son or daughter avoids playing with something that could be harmful to them.

Blocks are a really good choice for kids of most ages, but for younger children, you need to make sure that they have no sharp edges and corners, to decrease the possibility of eye injury. And don't forget to look at the how small a toy is. If you have little children a toy that is mouth size is not something they should be playing with. Be watchful of toys that can be pressed or shaped into a smaller size also. It's advised to put small toys aside until your son or daughter is older.

Avoid toys with edges or any sharp parts for little ones, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, always make sure the ends aren't sharp. Always pay attention when they play with those kinds of toys.

For children younger than 6, stay clear of toys projectiles, like dart guns. Even when they're older than 6, always pay close attention with those kinds of toys. Whereas, for older kids who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing safety goggles.

So the next time you're looking for a gift, look for the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Be certain that there's no harm posed to your child.