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Eye Safety Risks Associated with Nerf Guns

by Damion Wasylow 6 December 2021 07:11 AM

child pointing nerf gun

Nerf guns may top many kids’ holiday wish lists, but they could also pose a risk to your child’s vision. While the projectiles (known as darts) fired by these toy guns are mostly made up of squishy Nerf material, the tips are typically hard plastic, and they can travel in excess of 60 miles per hour, resulting in severe impacts to delicate eyes.

Nerf Gun-Related Eye Injuries

Being struck in the eye with a Nerf dart can result in bleeding, swelling, increased risk of cataracts and even vision loss. In one case, an 11-year-old child suffered extreme ocular damage, including all of the following:

  • Hyphema (blood within the aqueous fluid)
  • Corneal oedema (swelling of the cornea)
  • Anterior uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
  • Localized angle recession (a tear in the ciliary muscle)
  • Commotio retinae (traumatic retinopathy)

Other Toys that Pose Vision Risks

Nerf guns, of course, are not the only toys that pose risks to children’s eyes. Toy companies manufacture and promote everything from BB guns to metal swords as safe playthings for kids. When in reality, more than 225,000 emergency room visits result from toy-related injuries each year.

Projectile toys are by far the most dangerous for eye health. Whether it’s dart guns, paintball guns, BB guns, airsoft rifles or other so-called toys that launch objects through the air, parents should be aware of the real risks associated. Put simply, projectile toys are never safe.

Safety Measures Can Lessen the Risks

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that anyone who does purchase a projectile toy should also enforce wearing eye protection. Safety glasses, eye shields and other protective gear should be worn at all times while playing with these dangerous toys.

You can also help enforce eye safety through:

  • Supervision to ensure that your child is being responsible during play.
  • Adhering to the age guidelines set by the manufacturer.
  • Reading through the safety warnings that come with the toy.

Treating Traumatic Eye Injuries

If your child suffers a traumatic eye injury, it’s wise to get them to the emergency room as quickly as possible. Immediate care can help reduce the risk of permanent damage. After initial treatment, it’s likely you will be referred to your local ophthalmologist for further evaluation and treatment.

At North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care, we treat a wide range of eye injuries for people of all ages. Contact us today at 352-373-4300 to schedule an appointment.



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