Toy Guns Pose Big Threat to Young Eyes

THURSDAY, Dec. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Thinking of buying your kid a BB, pellet or paintball gun for Christmas? Don't forget eye protection, the American Academy of Ophthalmology urges.

The number of eye injuries related to so-called "nonpowder guns" are increasing at an alarming rate. In fact, one study published earlier this year found a nearly 170 percent increase in these types of eye injuries over the last two decades.

"Ophthalmologists see firsthand the devastating damage toy guns can inflict on the eyes; children are blinded," said Dr. Dianna Seldomridge, clinical spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

"The good news is, most of these injuries are avoidable. Protective eyewear and adult supervision make nonpowder gun activities much safer for children," she said in an academy news release.

Tips for preventing eye injuries include:

  • Be sure your kids always wear proper eye protection when using these guns.

  • Teach children how to handle and use these guns safely.

  • Be there to watch your kids as they play with these guns.

  • Provide paper or gel targets with a backstop to trap BBs or pellets.

In addition, know what to do if an eye injury occurs:

  • Seek immediate medical attention.

  • Never touch, rub, apply pressure or try to remove any object stuck in the eye.

More information

Visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology for more on eye injuries.

SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology, news release, Dec. 13, 2018