That toy car you just picked up
for your 5-year old kid may make his day, but that, and many other toys could
be causing permanent damage to your child's eyes.
The US Food and Drug
Administration has been recently issued a warning emphasizing how laser lights
emitted from kid's toys
such as spinning tops, light sabers and laser gun could
cause irreparable damage to kids eyes
"A beam shone directly into
a person's eye can injure it in an instant, especially if the laser is a
powerful one," health promotion officer at the FDA's Center for Devices
and Radiological Health, Dan Hewett, explained in a press release.
The health authorities further
claim that this damage could go unnoticed for many weeks, and could be
permanent and irreversible too. People buy the toys assuming they are harmless
and often fall prey to advertising and marketing strategies.
In particular, hand-held lasers
that create optical effects, spinning tops that project beams and toy guns that
aim using a laser beam are the most dangerous when it comes to harmful effects
on the eyes
Parents should take up the
initiative to minimize the exposure of such toys to children considering that
now, the power of lasers has increased and the prices have dropped.
Hewett further emphasized on how
parents that buy laser toys for their kids should keep in mind to not go beyond
the Class 1 limits.
According to the FDA, laser toys
shouldn't be aimed at people or animals, and shouldn't be pointed at any
reflective surfaces. It is also believed that sometimes, laser light could be
worse than staring directly into the sun.
"If you buy a laser toy or
pointer and you don't see this information in the labeling, it's best not to
make any assumptions about its safety," Hewett added.
Dr Jerald Bovino from the
American Retina Foundation explained further how the eye reacts and bears with
the exposure to a laser beam. "It is going to the fovea, the center of the retina
The darker pigment in the fovea
of the eye then absorbs the light, thereby quickly raising the temperature of
in a way comparable to a black car seat that gets hot as it absorbs
health from the sun.
Spreading public awareness about the harmful effects
of laser light emitting toys and improving standards can help prevent the
occurrence of many eye disorders among children.