Trouble In Toyland: Keeping Your Child Safe This Christmas

It’s almost Christmas! That means everyone is out shopping and buying toys for all of the good little girls and boys! Unfortunately, some toys can be more harmful than others. At South Coast Medical Group, we’ve seen children come into our urgent care center with different kinds of toy-related injuries. One of the most frequent injuries we see though are injuries caused by toy guns.

Eye Pain & Projectiles

It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that toy guns can cause injuries just like their real life counterparts. Whether it is BB guns, paintball guns, NERF guns, or other types of projectile toys, they are always a common sight during Christmas. Unfortunately, toy guns can be very damaging to the eyes.

“Projectile toys, even ones that shoot soft foam objects, can cause corneal abrasions, ocular hyphema, traumatic cataract, and even blindness,” said Dr. John Cheng MD.

Unfortunately, even the softest projectiles, like the foam from NERF guns, can be damaging to the eyes and cause scratches, bleeding, or blurred vision that takes weeks or days to heal. Parents who still want their children to play with toy guns that fire projectiles should remember to supervise them or even have them wear eye protection while playing.

Common Sense Toy Buying Tips

Ideally, parents should avoid buying their children any toys with sharp or protruding parts. Children with toys that have lasers should also be careful of any eye damage. If your child receives an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention, especially if there is vision loss, swelling, or bleeding.

Toys with small parts should not be given to young children who often times put the toys in their mouths and may choke. The rule of thumb to remember is that any toy that can fit in a toilet paper roll should not be given to a child under the age of 3. Likewise, any toys with cords or long strings shouldn’t be given to infants and young children since these toys can strangle children when entangled.

In the event that you or your child are hurt while playing with a toy, our urgent care center is available 7 days a week and we accept walk-ins. Come into our clinic and we’ll be happy to quickly help you or your child so that your favorite holiday memory is getting home safe and sound to enjoy time together after we’ve patched you up.