Mostly everyone is familiar with the infamous line from a Christmas Story, where Ralphie – who is desperate for a Red Rider BB Gun – is told countless times: ‘you’ll shoot your eye out’. Still, a report published recently showcases this very idea when it comes to toy Nerf guns.
The report outlines three unrelated cases that have occurred over a three-month time period for treatments at London’s Moorfields Eye Hospital. The report indicates that two patients, both adults, had inflammation and blood pooling in their eyes after a Nerf gun was shot at them. A child, 11 years of age, also had blood pooling, inflammation, and an injured eye within the outer retinal layers.
The doctors that work the emergency room with the eye hospital are generally used to ‘seeing it all’ when it comes to these types of injuries. Still, Dr. Mukhtar, lead author of the report, was shocked that a kid’s toy could bring on an injury where blood arose. In addition, all three patients had red eyes and blurred vision, where symptoms did repair after some weeks. According to Bizrah, bleeding within the outer layer of the eye and the space between the cornea is quite dangerous.
It’s important to note, all the cases within the report dealt with Nerf guns that were shot close in proximity.
Still, one of the guns had shot ‘bullets’ from a brand that was not ‘Nerf’, and it is said that these types of ‘bullets’ have stronger heads on them when compared to the Nerf ones. The researchers did note that these unlabeled bullets are more cost effective and thus, parents seem to reach for them at times. Additionally, the team could not confirm if Nerf-branded bullets would have caused less harm.
CNN reported that Hasbro Inc.’s Senior VP for Nerf Global Communications, Julie Duffy, released a statement relaying that the toy gun foam rounds and foam darts are not dangerous if used properly. Duffy added that the guns should not be aimed at an individual’s face or eyes and that the toys should not be modified. She also noted that ‘Nerf-compatible’ darts might not meet safety regulations and standards. Duffy also encouraged parents and caregivers to take the time to read the toy gun’s packaging and the specified age recommendation around the product.