Eyes in the News

Safety First When Buying Toys

The holiday shopping season is now in full swing.  We encourage parents and toy buyers to beware of toys that could be threatening to children’s eyes.  When checking over your child’s wish list, keep in mind these toy safety tips from Vision Quest (copyright 1996 Chris Smith and North Central Sight Services, Inc.):

1.  Avoid toys that shoot objects.

2.  Avoid toys that are too complex for young children.  Toys should suit the skills, abilities and interests of the individual child.  Remember, a toy that is safe for an 8-year-old may be hazardous for a younger child.

3.  Read labels and instructions carefully before buying.  Look for labels with age recommendations such as “Recommended for children three to five years old.”  Also, use your own judgement in deciding whether a toy is difficult for your child.

4.  Check toys used by children under three for any small parts or broken pieces that children could put in their mouths.

5.  Demonstrate and discuss with children how to use toys properly and safely.

6.  Encourage your child to put away toys so that they are not broken and so that no one trips or slips on them.

7.  Examine toys periodically.  Watch out particularly for sharp edges and points, and sand splintered wooden surfaces.  Repair broken toys and discard toys that cannot be fixed.

8.  Discard plastic wrappings on toys at once, before they become deadly.

The holidays are a time of fun but remember that good eye health is not done by magic!  It starts at home by remembering to protect everyone’s eyes–kids and adults alike!


Keep Eyes Safe On Halloween

If your children enjoy dressing up and wandering the streets for candy on Halloween, make sure they do it safely.  Many eye injuries are reported every year as a result of Halloween activities.  In addition, it’s easy for kids to be less visible to drivers during evening hours.  Follow these tips from Troy Bedinghaus, OD (About.com Guide) to keep your kids and their eyes safe.

1. Avoid costumes that block vision:  Masks, wigs and eye patches are fun Halloween accessories, but make sure they don’t block visibility.  Some masks are very dangerous for children because they block their side vision.  A better, safer option is to decorate your child’s face with face paint or make-up.

2.  Use make-up safely:  If you decide to disguise your child with make-up instead of a mask, use hypo-allergenic options and keep it away from the eyes.  It’s a good idea to carry a wet towel or washcloth in case the make-up begins to run while trick-or-treating.  Running around in a costume makes some kids perspire, so a quick clean-up around the eye area may be necessary before the night is over.

3.  Don’t allow sharp objects to be used as props:  Some costumes don’t seem complete without swords or wands.  Still, do not allow your child to carry sharp objects.  Sharp, pointed props endanger your child’s eyes, as well as the eyes of other children.

4.  Follow guidelines for wearing decorative contact lenses:  Older kids often complete their Halloween costumes with spooky cosmetic contact lenses.  Remember that contact lenses are medical devices and require a valid prescription.  Be on the safe side and have your eye doctor fit them on your child.  If not used safely, contact lens use can lead to vision loss.

5.  Carry a flashlight:  Give your child a small flashlight to illuminate dark paths and walkways.  If it is a dark  night, your child will not be able to see holes in yards or missing porch steps.  A flashlight will also make your child more visible to drivers.

6.  Make sure costumes are reflective:  If the costume your child chooses is not made of reflective material, sew on reflective fabric strips or use stick-on stripes of reflective tape.  You want your child to be seen, especially crossing streets in the dark.  Place reflective material on the front, back and sides of your child’s costume.


Medication Can Affect Your Eyes

It is important to know that many prescription and non-prescription drugs can affect your eyes and vision.  Some side effects are temporary, lasting only as long as you take the medication, but others are long term. Here is some side effects to recognize from the on-line Healthtouch library provided by the American Optometric Association.



Eye Care After 50

Our eyes age with us as the rest of our body ages. Here are some important points to consider about eye care after age 50 from the on-line Healthtouch Library provided by the American Optometric Association. MORE


Myths About Vision

Misconceptions about our eyes and vision are often passed from one generation to another. Here’s the real scoop on some popular myths about vision from the on-line Healthtouch Library provided by the American Optometric Association. MORE


Protect Your Eyes From the Summer Skies

Warm weather is right around the corner. Children and their families will be enjoying more outdoor activities and planning family vacations to the beach. Parents and children are becoming more accustomed to applying sunscreen to their skin, whether it’s a cloudy or sunny day, to protect themselves from the harmful UV rays of the sun. But what are we doing to protect our eyes from these same harmful rays? MORE

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