If you have a child on your holiday gift list, a West Des Moines optometrist suggests finding toys that won’t present a hazard to the kid’s eyesight. Toy-related injuries sent 170-thousand American children to emergency rooms last year, so Dr. Mandy Mataya says to shop carefully and rule a few things out right away.

Mataya says, "Any toy that may have a sharp corner or a sharp edge or a long handle, or toy guns that may propel solid objects, and even those chemistry sets where the chemicals could be potentially harmful for the eye." She says gift-buyers should also take a child’s disposition into account and parents need to keep a lid on rambunctious behavior.

"It’s not even actually the toy itself," Mataya says. "It’s really how the child will play with the toy. Any toy can be harmful for the eye. If a child is running around recklessly, or swinging the toy around, throwing things, that can increase the risk of an eye injury."

While some toys can be dangerous, Mataya says other toys can be excellent tools in helping a child’s visual abilities to develop. She suggests seeking out toys like puzzles, ring toss games where a child has to track a moving object, or games that involve sorting shapes, all can help with visual development. Before that new crop of toys arrives, Mataya suggests parents sort through a child’s toybox and toss out items that are broken or worn out that could present a hazard.