Many kids are having fun using laser pointers. Awareness should be raised regarding the dangers of using laser pointers as a toy. In a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a boy from Greece looked directly at the light from a laser pointer many times and he lost much of the vision in one eye. The injury he obtained is too common. It has been reported before that laser pointer is powerful. It brings a blinding danger.
The federal Food and Drug Administration regulated laser devices in the United States. They provide basic information about lasers, guidance for manufacturers, and laser safety tips for parents. Products that have lasers are safe when they are used as instructed. Many people are afraid because of the numerous reports of injuries. They are confused about what is safe from what is not.
Tips for People Who Own a Laser Device
If you are considering getting a laser device or if you own one, these are tips from the FDA to make safety the main priority:
● Do not aim or shine a laser directly at anyone even in animals. The light energy that comes from a laser aimed at the eye is hazardous. It is more dangerous than staring directly into the sun.
● Never aim a laser at any vehicle, aircraft, or shiny surface because it has a startling effect that can cause serious accidents. It can negatively affect someone doing another activity such as driving or playing sports.
● Make sure to look for an FDA-recommended IEC Class I label on children’s toy lasers. The product is low risk and not in the higher emission level laser class if the label says “Class 1 Laser Product.”
● Do not let your child use laser pointers. Emphasize that these products are not toys.
● Ensure that family members are aware that laser pointers are not for children in case they are planning on giving them one. As a parent, do not buy laser pointers for children.
● Make sure to read the power printed on the label before buying. Do not buy a laser that emits more than 5mW power.
What Should I Do if a Laser Pointer Causes Eye Damage?
According to a report, retinal injury, blurry vision, blind spots, or permanent vision loss can occur from a laser pointer. The damage could go unnoticed for days and even weeks but it can cause permanent damage. If you or your child suspects or experiences any eye injury, make sure to consult a health care professional immediately. Do not delay seeking medical help.