How to Play It Safe to Avoid Eye Damage
Shooting toy guns and darts is a typical game among kids. However, is it always safe? A recent increase in Nerf gun eye injuries calls the safety of this popular toy gun into question.
In September 2017, an article published in the medical journal BMJ Case Reports discusses three separate incidents of eye 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, internal bleeding in their eye, inflammation, and fuzzy vision. Fortunately, all of these people sought urgent care from an eye doctor at a specialized vision center. They all recovered their eyesight and eye health after treatment with eye drops.
Your Optometrist Provides Emergency Eye Care for Nerf Gun Injuries
If you are hit in the eye or near the eye with any flying object, such as a Nerf dart, take a close look at your eye symptoms. Seeing black or starbursts, bleeding in your eye, swelling, fuzzy vision, or any type of pain are all red alerts that you need an eye exam immediately! These symptoms could point to an increased risk for vision loss or future complications. For example:
If the outer retinal layers of your eye are damaged by a Nerf gun, it can lead to a detached retina. Bleeding in the space between your cornea and iris can cause problems that put you at a higher risk for developing glaucoma.
If you suffer eye damage, Dr. Jeanine Graves, eye care specialist in Fair Lawn, NJ, will perform an emergency eye exam to determine the best treatment.
What does Hasbro have to say?
The time-honored toy company giant that created Nerf guns stress that these shooters meet global safety standards when used correctly. They prioritize product safety and encourage parents to always check the age recommendations on every product; Nerf toys are indicated for children age 8 and up. Also, kids need to be reminded that the face is a prohibited target for Nerf darts.
Hasbro asserts that all of its products pass rigorous reviews and extensive testing to determine that they are both fun and safe – yet consumers must be responsible and heed the instructions and age warnings.
Buy Only the Real Nerf
The packaging on all Nerf toy guns states explicitly that players should only use Nerf-brand bullets as replacements. However, many inexpensive and junkier versions are available from retailers. Resist the temptation to purchase knock-offs. These unlabeled bullet heads and darts are not made according to safety regulations. Since they are often harder than the originals, they can easily cause a Nerf gun eye injury. It’s also dangerous to modify your Nerf blaster or darts to make them shoot faster and harder.
Protect Your Eyes
In general, eye doctors advise everyone to wear protective eyewear when playing any sport or game that involves objects whizzing through the air. Just because Nerf guns are sold as a kid’s toy doesn’t mean they are risk-free. Our Fair Lawn, NJ, optometrist encourages parents to equip children with protective eyewear – and to make sure kids wear it!