Christmas present eye safety for children

An optometrist at Hattiesburg Eye Clinic said toy-related eye injuries in kids are a common trend during the holidays.
Published: Dec. 12, 2022 at 8:14 PM CST
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -The great day of unwrapping gifts is upon us, but some presents could be a hazard to your children’s eyes.

While kids enjoy seeing presents under the tree, Dr. Scott Paladichuk, an optometrist at the Hattiesburg Eye Clinic, said toy-related eye injuries in kids are a common trend during the holidays.

“Every year, we see nerf gun injuries and those can seem harmless but a lot of times they cause bleeding internally that can damage the eyes permanently,” said Paladichuk.

According to Prevent Blindness America, there are roughly 11,000 toy-related eye injuries each year,

Paladichuk says parents need to be mindful of any projectile or launching toys that could hurt their children’s eyes.

“One of the strangest and most severe injuries was a bow and arrow injury that caused a retina detachment in a child,” said Paladichuk. “So, those can obviously be life-changing experiences.”

Before gift wrapping, Paladichuk also said parents should test the toys to learn how to handle them to prevent any misuse of the toy.

If your child does experience an eye injury, Paladichuk says there are symptoms you can look for in your kids.

“Redness is a big one, kind of an obvious one,” said Paladichuk. “Another one would be pain or blurry vision and you know any other strange like nausea or a patient with a fever or not feeling well.”

If eye injuries are not treated, Paladichuk said it could have a lifetime effect on your little one’s vision.

“A lot of minor things that you think wouldn’t, like some corneal scarring or retinal issues that could be managed early on, can definitely affect the child’s vision long term,” said Paladichuk.

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