How to Play Safe to Avoid Eye Injuries
Toys that whizz through the air are popular with kids of all ages. Yet, don’t be fooled into thinking that every item categorized as a toy is always safe. A recent increase in Nerf gun eye damage questions the safety of this popular toy gun. An article published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports in September 2017 discusses three separate incidents of eye injuries after playing with a Nerf gun.
Two of the patients with eye damage were adults and one was an 11-year-old child. In all three cases, the patients experienced internal bleeding in their eye, pain, swelling, and blurred vision. Fortunately, all of these people sought urgent medical care from an eye doctor, and they recovered their eye health fully after medical eye care treatment.
What does Hasbro Say?
The massive toy manufacturer that produces original Nerf guns stressed that when used correctly – Nerf guns comply with all international safety standards. Product safety is a top priority, and Hasbro urges parents to always check the age recommendations on every toy; Nerf gun products are recommended for kids age 8 and up. Also, children need to be reminded not to aim Nerf darts at the face.
Hasbro assured that all of its products passed rigorous testing and numerous practical reviews to classify them as both fun and safe for play – but consumers must be responsible and heed the instructions and age warnings.
Only Buy the Real Thing
Every package of original Nerf toy guns states that only branded bullets (designed specifically for this product) should be used as replacements. However, people are tempted to purchase cheaper copies from random retailers. That’s a bad move. Unlabeled darts and bullet heads are often much harder than the originals, which increases the risks of a Nerf gun eye injury.
Not only is it risky to buy junkier copies that aren’t manufactured according to safety regulations, it’s also dangerous to modify your Nerf blaster or darts to make them shoot faster and more powerfully (despite all the online videos teaching how to do this!).
Emergency Eye Care is Critical for Nerf Gun Eye Injury
If you are smacked in or near the eye with a Nerf bullet (or any flying object), watch your symptoms. Lasting pain, bleeding in your eye, starbursts or seeing black, fuzzy eyesight, or any other disturbing symptoms all indicate you need an eye exam from a nearby vision center immediately!
These symptoms could also put you at risk for vision loss in the future. For example, if a Nerf gun causes eye damage to the outer retinal layers, it can lead to a detached retina. Also, bleeding in the space between your iris and cornea can lead to complications that raise the risk of glaucoma.
Our optometrist at Coronado Eye Care welcomes patients from all over Imperial Beach and San Diego County. We will check your eyes comprehensively to prescribe the best treatment.
Wear Protection During Playtime
While we’re shining the spotlight on Nerf guns right now, don’t think that they hold exclusive rights to eye damage. In general, eye care professionals warn that anything projected or thrown through the air with speed and power can lead to vision loss and eye injury. The most effective way to protect eyes is to cover them with protective eye gear. Our Coronado, CA, eye doctors remind parents to purchase protective safety eyewear for their children and instruct them to put it on!