published Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Ask A Doctor: What should I keep in mind when choosing toys this holiday season to avoid eye injuries?

Dr. Paula Nicola

Q: As a parent, what should I keep in mind when choosing toys this holiday season to avoid eye injuries?

A: Children receive all types of potentially unsafe presents during the holidays, including BB guns, darts, pellet guns and paintball guns. Choose toys that are appropriate for the child’s age, abilities and also for the parent’s willingness to supervise its use. Sports equipment also is popular and should always include protective eyewear such as helmets, face masks or goggles. Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts, especially for younger children. Check age recommendations to select gifts appropriate for the child’s ability and maturity level. Keep toys made for older children away from younger children. If your child does sustain an eye injury, seek medical assistance immediately from either his pediatrician or your family’s ophthalmologist. Even a minor injury can become much more serious without appropriate treatment.

— Dr. Paula Nicola, ophthalmologist, EyeCare Chattanooga; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, email it to Clint Cooper at ccooper@timesfreepress.com. See this space each week for answers.

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