Everybody knows that kids do silly things. They climb a tree, slip, fall and break their arm. Their arm heals and they are back up the tree again. But losing your sight because you are playing with a laser pointer toy? No one expects that. Read on to find out how play time could turn into an emergency trip to the hospital.
The Laser Pointer is fantastic for board room presentations. And kids also love to use it as a torch, shining it into the night sky, and as a laser stick that can kill the enemy in a game of alien invasions, or Star Wars perhaps.
The thing is, it can also cause serious damage when shone directly into the eyes. And parents are finding this out AFTER the damage has occurred.
Johnny Marshall (8) was at his sisters school fair when he nagged his parents to buy him a laser pointer. But when they got home, Johnny shone it into his eyes. He ended up with thermal burn and his retina was irretrievably damaged. Another child in Tasmania did the same thing and he has only 25% vision left in his eyes. Both of his retinas got burnt.
The children experienced no pain, so no one realised the damage they had caused until they started complaining about vision difficulties. Optometrists are worried about the high numbers of children they are seeing with this type of injury. The laser pointer is available virtually anywhere and at an affordable price. Lasers within a 3-4 milliwatt range are considered within Federal safety limits by the FDA Centre for Devices and Radiological Health.
However, the imported lasers are said to be a class ‘3B’ which equals a 5-500 milliwatt range – definitely not safe, and they can damage your eye from 328 feet away.
Check the safety standards before giving it to your child. And make sure you supervise your child when he is playing with this dangerous “toy”. Do you have any stories to tell us of laser games? We would love to hear from you.
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