As the festival of Dusshera arrives there is a flood of potentially dangerous toys like swords and bow and arrow in the market especially close to Ramlila Maidaans and Pondals. Over the years many of us (eye surgeons) come across unfortunate event of ocular injury with these crudely made toys. With their colorful appearance and cheap price kids and often their parents get attracted to these.
Unfortunately, eyes can and do get injured inadvertently by these toys and very often, the victims are innocent children.Inspired by the Ram Lila and similar television serials, children brandish swords at each other or fire arrows from bows which can lead to permanent blindness if they happen to hit the eye. This happens more often if the injury is severe and not managed properly.
Prevention is better than cure, so please dont buy such toys for your kids. The cost many parents pay for not giving due attention to this issue is enormous.
In case you still land up buying these toys and land up with an injury, you must always remember that any injury in and around the eye is to be taken seriously and managed on an emergency basis, however trivial it appears to you. Not all injuries to the eye are dangerous but the distinction between a trivial injury and a trauma is best left to a trained surgeon, who must be consulted immediately.
Some do's to be followed in case of an injury are :
1) Remember that in many cases timely intervention can save the eyeball as well as preserve sight. Hence immediately rush to the surgeon. A delay can lead to intractable infection.
2). Do not panic and reassure the child and other family members and
3).Covering the eye is a must but do not do it with pressure over injured eyeball. one can use Styrofoam or paper cups with tape over it for protection.
Some don'ts to be followed in such cases are:
1). Oral intake of any fluid and food should be stopped immediately as if badly injured your child may need general anesthesia for repair
2). Rubbing or massaging of the eye is absolutely contraindicated
3). Do not try to forcibly open the injured eye of the child. You may cause more harm than good and
4). Applying medications to the injured eye is not a must. In any case, do not apply an ointment. It hampers visibility.