Help your child practice smart eye safety

At around the six-month milestone, children should have their first eye exam to check on their healthy development. The optometrist will let you know how frequently your child needs subsequent eye check-ups, including an exam before the start of school. Since much of the material covered in school is visual, healthy vision is essential for your child’s academic progress. The pediatric specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital are always available to answer your questions about your child’s eye health.

Purchase safe toys
Eye safety isn’t usually a factor that most people consider when purchasing toys for young kids, but far too many children’s emergency care visits do occur because of unsafe toys. Avoid letting your child play with these potentially hazardous toys:

  • Toy guns or dart launchers
  • Water guns or water balloon launchers
  • Toy fishing poles
  • Toy swords, wands or bayonets
  • Aerosol “string”
  • Laser pointers
  • High-powered, LED flashlights

Essentially, any toy that has an airborne projectile or is meant to be swung through the air could cause an eye injury. Laser pointers and high-powered flashlights (for playing flashlight tag) can also be dangerous for eye health because of the very bright light.

Use sports safety equipment
Sports help kids build character, learn to be a good teammate and encourage physical fitness. Make sure your child has all the necessary safety equipment for his or her preferred sport.

Regular eyeglasses and sunglasses cannot protect a child’s eyes from trauma during sports-related contact or a fall. Your child needs specially designed protective eyewear. Your child’s pediatrician or eye doctor can recommend the right type for your child.

Know what to do if an eye injury occurs
Kids are susceptible to all sorts of eye injuries, including the following:

  • Corneal abrasions
  • Foreign object penetration
  • Retinal detachment
  • Corneal ulcers

If an eye injury affects your child, do not let him or her rub the eye. Don’t try to remove a foreign object embedded in the eye. Do flush the eye with clean water if the injury involves chemical irritation.

Eye injuries need immediate medical attention. When you call 911, the emergency dispatcher can give you further guidance.

The children’s emergency care specialists at Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas provide responsive, reassuring care to our young patients. We’re available around the clock to treat and comfort children with serious health problems, such as eye injuries. Call 911 for EMS assistance, or call a registered nurse for non-emergent questions at (702) 233-5437.

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