The festival season in India brings a spate of eye injuries of various nature that are attributable to the toys that become popular during the season.

It is the prime responsibility of parents and school teachers to educate, counsel and protect children from such injuries. There are many toys that are inherently associated with increased chances of accidental injuries, such as:

  • Bow and Arrow
  • Catapult
  • Cardboard Swords and Knives
  • Plastic bullet spring pistols
  • Different types of firecrackers

The best option is to avoid buying such toys for the children and persuade them to buy other toys that may be safer to play with. There are children who are aggressive and excessive prankster, it is important to keep such toys out of their reach. Counselling regarding potentially serious eye injury to others and even self must be carried out regularly.  Reinforcement of message is important.

If the children do happen to play with probable injury causing toys and indulge in friendly war games, they must be supervised by their guardians constantly. They should not be pointing arrows/swords/toy guns directly towards others, especially face. Parents must lay down clear cut rules and intervene immediately to stop them in case of a violation, however trivial. They should also check that children are not mixing with older children or barging into other groups.           

In case of an injury that is not associate with any burn:

  • DO NOT touch the eye or rinse it in water
  • DO NOT try to prise open to assess yourself
  • DO NOT put pressure of any sort on the eye 
  • DO NOT instil an eye drop of any kind yourself
  • PUT a sterile eye/ surgical pad if available over the eye gently and rush the child to a nearby facility
  • PUT a clean handkerchief if an eye pad is not available 
  • Always keep sterile surgical pads/ surgical tape and scissors in your First Aid Box at home.