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Sunday 17 December 2017

Children risk Nerf gun eye injuries, worried docs warn

A child holding a Nerf gun. Photo: PA
A child holding a Nerf gun. Photo: PA

Nerf guns can lead to serious eye injuries, doctors have warned.

Experts from a leading eye hospital said bullets from the popular toy guns and blasters could lead to internal bleeding around the eye as well as issues such as blurred vision.

Arrows

They suggested that children and adults who play with the guns should wear protective eye goggles and also called for "reconsideration of the safe age limits for Nerf gun use in children".

Nerf toys, which are made by Hasbro, include a range of guns, blasters and bows and arrows for children aged eight and over.

Writing in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), A&E medics from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London said that three patients had been injured by the guns in separate incidents. All suffered internal bleeding.

All the patients were examined and given eye drops, the researchers said.

Check-ups showed their sight had returned completely and the bleeding had stopped.

The authors said that, while there was a good outcome for those three patients, the ability of Nerf guns to cause problems was worrying and could lead to long-term vision loss.

"This case series emphasises the seriousness of ocular injury from Nerf gun projectiles and calls into consideration the need for protective eyewear with their use," they said.

"It also calls for reconsideration of the safe age limits for Nerf gun use in children."

The authors also pointed out that one patient had told them that non-branded, cheaper bullets that fit Nerf guns are on sale.

Examination showed these bullets to be harder than the ones made by Hasbro, which parents may not be aware of.

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