December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month


MADISON (WKOW) -- The holiday shopping season is here, so it's important to know which toys can pose a serious danger to a child, specifically their eyes.

The Wisconsin Optometric Association joined several organizations across the county in recognizing December as Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

WOA is reminding parents that certain toys can cause serious eye injuries. The organization says parents should stay vigilant in regards to safety when purchasing toys this holiday season.

"It comes down to common sense," Dr. Jeff Sarazen, WOA President and Wausau optometrist, said. "Be proactive and watch for dangerous toys that could injure your children."
According to the American Optometric Association, parents should avoid purchasing toys for children that have pointed, sharp edges or pieces. AOA says to be careful to select toys that are age-appropriate for the child. The organization say that toys like slingshots, dart guns and arrows should be avoided completely, especially with younger children in the house.
The AOA says blocks are good choices for a variety of ages, as long as their corners and edges are blunted to reduce the risk of eye injury. The organization says long-handled toys such as mops and brooms should have rounded handles.
The WOA says there are certain toys that can promote the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. The organization says those toys can include magnetic letters, stringing beads, and toy cash registers.
The WOA recommends brightly colored mobiles, stuffed animals, activity gyms, blocks/balls, stacking toys, buckets/measuring cups, puzzles, shape sorters, and musical toys to stimulate visual development, improve hand-eye coordination, and demonstrate spatial relationships for children under two years of age.
For children ages two and over, the WOA recommends child-sized household items, vacuums, rakes, lawn mowers, refrigerators, stove sets, sandboxes, riding toys, backyard gyms, and swings.
Some toys are simply not safe and may be recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). For a list of toy recalls, call the CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or visit its website.
Dr. Tessa Sokol, an optometrist and the Madison area WOA president, joins us on 27 News at 5 on Wednesday to talk about which toys are safe, and which ones you may want to avoid.
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