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Nerf guns or sometimes known as blasters are very popular toys that are used by both kids and adults. The guns shoot a soft foamy dart known as a bullet.
However, a just published report from doctors in the emergency department of on hospital in Britain has raised concerns that the Nerf gun might not be the harmless toy that everyone once had thought it to be.
The new report speaks about three serious eye injuries due to the Nerf gun and calls for consideration for the need of wearing protective eyewear during their use.
One doctor based in the U.S. agreed that it could be time to re-examine the safety issues related to the product. That is due to people now being able to purchase Nerf bullets that are sold online by manufacturers that are not tied to the maker of the toys that carry potentially more dangers due to being “harder.”
The safe bullets for the Nerf gun, especially those manufactured by makers who are off-label, should now be placed into a category of potentially causing damage to the eye, said a doctor who directs ophthalmology at a hospital in Staten Island, New York.
According to the team of British doctors, the three people who suffered eye damage – two adults and a child – arrived at the hospital with blurred vision and eye pain after they were hit in their eyes by a bullet from a Nerf gun that a child shot.
When examined, all three of the patients suffered uveitis or eye inflammation and hyphemia which is pooling of blood in the back part of the eye.
The child, who was injured, developed swelling of the cornea and the retina, said the report.
The three patients were each given eye drops. When they came back for their follow-up, the bleeding in the eye stopped and their sight returned to 100%, reported the doctors.
The ER doctors said a big factor that is contributing to this problem is using less expensive and less soft bullets purchased online and used in the toy guns.
One patient gave samples of the bullets to the doctors. The physicians, all based in London, reported it was clear the unlabeled brand of nerf bullets were firmer and were the ones the patient has been injured by.
Nonetheless, the speed at which the bullets are blown out of the guns, a similar eye injury may have been possible even if the bullets had been the originals and softer, said the ER doctors.