Eye Doctors Warn About the Dangers of Nerf Guns
Kids and shooting toys are a common combination. Yet, are these games always safe? A recent rise in Nerf gun eye injuries calls attention to the safety of this well-known toy gun.
A September 2017 article published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports 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 internal bleeding in their eye, inflammation, fuzzy vision and pain. Fortunately, all of these people sought medical care from an eye doctor and recovered their eyesight fully after treatment with eye drops.
What is Hasbro’s response?
The toy company giant that manufactures Nerf guns stressed that Nerf guns meet global safety standards when used correctly. Product safety is a top concern, and they encourage parents to always check the age recommendations on every item; Nerf 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 products passed rigorous testing and reviews to determine that they are both fun and safe – but consumers must be responsible and heed the age warnings and specialized instructions.
Stay Clear of Fakes!
On the packaging for Nerf toy guns, it says that only branded bullets designed for this product should be used as replacements. However, many cheaper versions are available from retailers and you may be tempted to buy them. That’s not a wise move. These unlabeled darts and bullet heads are often harder than the originals, which gives them greater potential to cause a Nerf gun eye injury.
Not only is it risky to buy copies that aren’t made according to safety regulations, it’s also dangerous to modify your Nerf blaster or darts (as instructed by many online videos) to make them shoot faster and harder.
Emergency Eye Care for Injury After Playing with Nerf Gun
If you are hit in the eye or near the eye with a Nerf dart (or any flying object), pay attention to your symptoms. Bleeding in your eye, fuzzy vision, seeing black or starbursts, pain or any other uncomfortable symptoms are all warnings that you need an eye exam immediately! These symptoms could indicate that you are at risk for vision loss in the future.
For example, damage can be caused to the outer retinal layers of the eye by a Nerf gun, which can lead to a detached retina. Or, bleeding in the space between your cornea and iris can cause complications that are a risk factor for developing glaucoma.
Our eye doctors in Fredericksburg and Llano, TX, will check your eyes carefully and thoroughly to determine the best treatment.
Play it Safe – Wear Protective Eyewear
In general, eye care specialists caution that any objects projected through the air with speed can lead to eye injury. Just because the object is packaged and marketed as a kid’s toy doesn’t mean it carries no risks. Our Fredericksburg and Llano, TX, eye doctors remind parents to provide children with protective eyewear – and to make sure their kids wear it!