A  A  A   Print
Lasers in Toys Can Cause Serious Eye Damage, FDA Warns

Lasers in Toys Can Cause Serious Eye Damage, FDA Warns

FRIDAY, Aug. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Lasers in toys can be dangerous to children and those around them, posing the risk of serious eye injuries and even blindness, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"A beam shone directly into a person's eye can injure it in an instant, especially if the laser is a powerful one," Dan Hewett, health promotion officer at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in an agency news release.

Laser injuries to eyes usually don't hurt, but vision can deteriorate slowly over time. These injuries may go unnoticed for days and even weeks, and could be permanent, Hewett said.

Examples of laser toys include:

  • Lasers mounted on toy guns that can be used for aiming

  • Spinning tops that project laser beams while they spin

  • Hand-held lasers used during play as lightsabers

  • Lasers intended for entertainment that create optical effects in an open room

The FDA is particularly interested in toys with lasers because it's often children who are hurt by these products. Advertisers promote them as playthings, so parents and kids believe they're safe to use, Hewett said.

In recent years, the power of lasers has increased while prices have fallen, he added.

The FDA offers the following safety tips:

  • Never aim or shine a laser directly at any person or animal. The light energy from a laser aimed into the eye can be dangerous, possibly even more than staring directly into the sun.

  • Do not aim a laser at any reflective surface.

  • Keep in mind that the startling effect of a bright beam of light can cause serious accidents when aimed at a driver in a car or lead to injuries among people doing other activities, such as playing sports.

  • Look for labeling that a laser complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations), Subchapter J. "If you buy a laser toy or pointer and you don't see this information on the labeling, it's best not to make any assumptions about its safety," Hewett said.

More information

The Nemours Foundation outlines how to choose safe toys.

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, Aug. 6, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.