Children are curious creatures. They are constantly exploring and experimenting, which is a healthy part of learning and growing up, but it can sometimes get them hurt. While kids are always getting scrapes, bruises, and sometimes even broken bones, the damage can sometimes be more severe and even irreversible.
A classic, common household toy may be looked upon differently by children and parents from now on. Laser pointers have been a childhood favorite for many years, and they are generally seen as relatively harmless. Sadly, an eight-year-old boy has suffered a thermal burn and irreversible damage to his eyes while playing with a laser pen. Now, his mother is urging for this not-so-harmless trinket to be banned.
Little Jonny Marshall was having fun at his sister's school fair when he came upon a laser pen at one of the vendor booths. After begging his parents all day, they finally gave in and bought him the toy.
Jonny was playing with his new toy at home when he shone it into his eye out of curiosity, leaving him with a thermal burn and permanent damage to his retina within a quarter of a second.
According to the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, laser pointers that have a 3 to 5 milliwatt (mW) range fall within the federal safety limit. There have been no reports of eye damage among those lasers, which are properly labeled. However, some lasers that are imported go well above the federal safety limits, which can pose a risk for those who come into possession of them.
The United Kingdom also has its own safety limits. "If it had been within the UK regulations, it wouldn't have done the damage," Jonny's mother, Angela Marshall, said. "But, unfortunately, it had been imported and therefore it was a class 3B laser, which is between 5 and 500 milliwatts." Class 3B lasers with that range can cause damage to the eye within a fraction of a second, from up to 100 meters (about 328 feet) away.
A similar case occurred late last year, where a 14-year-old teenager also suffered instant, irreparable damage to his eyes after looking into a laser. Although he felt no pain during the incident, he lost 75% of his vision, which doctors say he will unlikely be able to recover.
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H/T: The Pink Penguin