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Hopewell

Adjacent to the Constitution Bank and The Peasant Grill on Broad Street

Lambertville

At the Intersection of River Rd (RT 29 & Rt 179) and Bridge Street

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Home » News and Events » Playing Safe

Playing Safe

Of course, parents are concerned with keeping their kids' eyes safe. But it can be hard to know how to choose the toys that are the safest and most beneficial.

Babies don't have a properly developed visual system at birth, but it becomes more refined over time. Nothing stimulates a child's visual development better than toys and activities that involve hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Good toys for stimulating an infant's visual development in his or her first year include geometric mobiles or colors, and activities that have interactive or removable objects, balls, books and puppets. Until they're 3 months old, babies can't fully differentiate between colors, so simple black and white pictures are most engaging.

Kids spend a large amount of time with toys, so it's crucial to know if those toys are safe and beneficial or not. A toy that is not age appropriate is generally unsafe. Don't forget to make sure that toys are developmentally appropriate, too. Although toy manufacturers include targeted age groups on the box, it's still important for you to make the call, so your son or daughter doesn't play with something that could be dangerous for them.

Toys must be of decent quality, without small parts that will break off. And if they're painted, make sure it's not with anything toxic or harmful. Kids tend to be a little wild at times, but they need to keep an eye out for airborne objects and other things in the playground, like swinging ropes that might hit the eye. If the eye gets hit by something, it can cause a corneal abrasion, or a sub-conjunctival hemorrhage, which is a popped blood vessel. And even when it seems like there wasn't any resulting injury, the impact can show up decades after the event, as glaucoma or a premature cataract.

Avoid toys that have points or edges or any sharp parts for a young child, and be sure that things with long sticks, like pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys.

If your child is under 6, be wary of toys projectiles, such as dart guns. Even if a child is old enough to play with such toys, you still need to closely watch children playing with those kinds of toys. Whereas, if you have teens who enjoy chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always make sure they are wearing safety goggles.

So when you next find yourself shopping for a holiday or birthday, take note of the company's recommendation about the intended age range for the toy. Be certain that there's no danger posed to your child - even if they look fun to play with.