Lasers in toys can cause serious eye damage, FDA warns

August 9th, 2013 in Health /
Lasers in toys can cause serious eye damage, FDA warns
Although sold as playthings, they emit powerful beams.


Although sold as playthings, they emit powerful beams.

(HealthDay)—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:

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:

More information: The Nemours Foundation outlines how to choose safe toys.

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"Lasers in toys can cause serious eye damage, FDA warns." August 9th, 2013. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-08-lasers-toys-eye-fda.html