Optometrists Warn About the Dangers of Eye Damage
Toys that shoot are popular with kids of all ages. Yet, just because they’re toys doesn’t mean they’re safe. A recent rise in Nerf gun eye injuries shines a spotlight on the safety of this well-known toy gun.
An article published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports in September 2017 describes three separate incidents of ocular injury after playing with a Nerf gun. Two of the injured patients were adults and one was an 11-year-old child. In all three cases, the patients suffered pain, inflammation, internal bleeding in their eye and fuzzy vision. Fortunately, all of these people sought medical care from an eye doctor and recovered their eye health fully after medical treatment with eye drops.
The toy company giant that manufactures Nerf guns stressed that when used correctly – Nerf guns meet all international safety standards. Product safety is a paramount concern, and they urge parents to always check the age recommendations on every item; Nerf gun products are indicated for children age 8 and up. In addition, kids need to be reminded not to aim Nerf darts at the face.
Hasbro assured that all of its toys and products passed strict testing and numerous reviews to classify them as both fun and safe – but consumers must be responsible and pay attention to the age warnings and specialized instructions.
Don’t Be Fooled by Fakes
On the package for original Nerf toy guns, it says that only branded bullets (specially designed for this product) should be used as replacements. However, many cheaper copies are available from retailers, and people are often tempted to buy them. That’s simply not smart. Unlabeled bullet heads and darts are often tougher than the originals, which raises the chances of a Nerf gun eye injury.
Not only is it risky to buy cheap copies that aren’t made according to safety regulations, it’s also hazardous to alter your Nerf blaster or darts to make them shoot faster and stronger (despite the fact that there are many online videos teaching how to do this!).
Urgent Eye Care is Essential for Nerf Gun Eye Injury
If you take a hit in or near the eye with a Nerf dart (or any flying object), pay attention to your symptoms. Bleeding in your eye, pain, seeing black or starbursts, fuzzy vision, or any other disturbing symptoms are all signs that you need an eye exam from a local vision center immediately! These symptoms could indicate that you are at risk for vision loss in the future.
For example, eye damage can be caused to the outer retinal layers by a Nerf gun, which can lead to a detached retina. Also, bleeding in the space between your iris and cornea can cause complications that increase your risk of glaucoma.
Our eye doctors at Pacific Eye Care, in Huntington Beach, CA, will examine your eyes thoroughly to recommend the best treatment.
Put On Protective Eyewear
Don’t think that Nerf guns are the one and only toy that could cause harm to eyes. In general, eye care specialists caution that anything thrown or projected through the air with speed and power can lead to eye injury. Just because the toy is marketed for children doesn’t mean it poses no risk. Our Huntington Beach, CA, optometrists remind parents to equip kids with protective eyewear – and to instruct them to wear it!