Thousands of Children Suffer Eye Injuries from Toys


Bainbridge and Silverdale Eye Physicians Wants Children to Enjoy an
Injury-Free Holiday

Bainbridge Island Too many eye injuries happen to children around the holidays due to unsafe use of toys, but the vast majority of these injuries can be prevented. December is Safe Toys and Celebrations Month and the Bainbridge and Silverdale Eye Physicians reminds parents of the dangers that toys may pose to children’s eyes.

“The holidays should be a time of happiness and family festivities,” said Dr. Jason C. Cheung, Pediatric Ophthalmologist. “A serious eye injury can ruin your celebration and, more seriously, leave your child with permanent vision loss.”

Children receive all types of potentially unsafe presents during the holidays, including BB, pellet and paintball guns and darts. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 235,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2008; nearly three quarters of those injured were children under age 15.

With so many toys being recalled or having the potential to cause injuries, many parents are wondering what toys are safe. “It’s important for parents to choose a toy that is appropriate for their child’s age, abilities and maturity and the parent’s willingness to supervise use of the toy,” says Dr. Jason C. Cheung.

“Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts,” said Dr. Jason C. Cheung. “This includes innocent-appearing toys such as a popgun or a paddle ball set. Children should have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games.”

Consumers also need to remember that sports equipment, a popular gift, should also include appropriate protective eyewear. Sports-related eye injuries account for about 40,000 eye injuries annually and can cause permanent vision loss. “If you plan to give sports equipment, provide appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses,” said Dr. Jason C. Cheung . Parents can check with their Eye M.D. to learn about protective gear recommended for their child’s sport.

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About Jason C. Cheung, MD
Adult & Pediatric Strabismus
Cataract Surgery

Dr. Cheung is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He graduated with honors from McGill University Medical School, Montreal in 1991. The following year, he did his internship at the University of California, Los Angeles. His ophthalmology residency was at the University of Minnesota from 1993 to 1996. Following his residency, he completed a pediatric ophthalmology fellowship at University of Toronto in 1997 and a genetics fellowship there in 1998.

Dr. Cheung has been living in Kitsap County since 1998. He is married to Danielle, another physician and they have a daughter, Claire. In his free-time, he enjoys cooking, running, and traveling. He traveled around the world once in 1993.