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Toy gun popular with children can cause serious eye injury, warn doctors

Doctors say protective eyewear should be worn when playing with Nerf guns.

Doctors say protective eyewear should be worn when playing with Nerf guns.

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Protective eyewear should be worn as a toy gun that is popular with children can cause serious eye injuries, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The caution arose after three people presented to hospital on seperate occasions with serious eye injuries after being shot by a Nerf gun.

All three were in pain with blurred vision and internal bleeding in the eye, or hyphema.

One of the three patients was a child, who had also developed swelling of the cornea and retina.

The patients were given eye drops. When they went for their check-ups their sight had returned completely and the bleeding had stopped.

The report revealed that there are several online videos offering tips to help children modify thier guns to make them harder and faster.

The authors stated that the eye injuries should encourage protective eyewear when using a Nerf gun. 

Findings from the case study revealed that the varied Nerf guns available resulted in different hardness of the Nerf gun bullets, which parents and guardians should be made aware of, say the authors.   

The authors have suggested that the age limit to use a Nerf gun may need to be reviewed. 

Mukhtar Bizrah and Seema Verma (2017) Nerf gun eye injuries: traumatic hyphema. BMJ Case Reports. doi:10.1136/bcr-2017-220967

Compiled by Kimberley Hackett, assistant editor Nursing Children and Young People 


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