According to the Consumer Public Safety Commission, 202,300 children were treated in emergency rooms in 2005 due to toy-related injuries. Included among those injuries were 7,820 children under 15 who suffered from eye injuries, most of whom were injured by air, BB or Spring guns. Most of the injuries were not caused by defective products.
Prevent Blindness America, a volunteer eye health and safety organization, recommends the following toy safety tips:
- “Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
- Slingshots and even water guns are dangerous because they invite children to target other kids.
- BB guns should not even be considered toys.
- Inspect toys for sturdiness. Your child’s toys should be durable with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact.
- Look for the letters “ASTM.” This means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
- Don’t give toys with small parts to young children. Young kids tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.
- Read directions carefully and follow suggested age levels. Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child’s ability and age.
- Repair or throw away damaged toys.
- Keep toys meant for older children away from younger ones.
- Make a list of safety rules and share them with your child. If your child is playing with friends, tell everyone your safety rules.
- Remain aware of recalled products. For further information on toy and product recalls, visit the U.S. Product Safety Commission Web site at www.cpsc.gov.”