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Holiday Season Shopping: Are Nerf Guns Safe for the Eyes?

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Nerf guns or blasters come in a remarkable number of shapes and sizes and have become incredibly popular for use in the home and even in large scale “Nerf Wars”.  However publicity surrounding the toy has not been all positive.  Many parents out there are questioning the safety of the toy foam guns, particularly to the eyes, before making the purchase.

The question of safety ultimately comes down to the user.  Nerf darts are relatively soft, foamy and not inherently dangerous, but if shot in the wrong way, they could cause pain or even serious injury. This is particularly true of the eyes because they are a vulnerable organ that can be damaged easily upon impact. Injuries from even a soft projectile could include corneal abrasions (surface scratches), bleeding, cataracts and even retinal detachment which can lead to permanent vision loss. 

Nevertheless, Nerf guns are fun and can even be used to help motor development and other skills, so with the right guidelines, children can learn to use them safely and benefit from the enjoyment they provide. 

Want surefire eye safety? Wear safety glasses!

The best defense for your eyes is safety glasses.  This is the one way you can be sure that you or your child’s eyes are truly safe during Nerf shooting.  We strongly recommend safety glasses be worn during any play that involves projectile objects, particularly for small children or during serious games such as Nerf Wars.

General rules of Nerf Gun play:

  1. Never shoot at the face.
  2. Never look into the barrel of the nerf gun, even if you think it isn’t loaded. 
  3. Avoid walking around with your finger on the trigger until you are ready to point and aim at the proper target. 
  4. Only shoot others that are “playing” and are aware that you are aiming at them.
  5. Don’t shoot from a moving vehicle (including a bicycle, skateboard, rollerblades, etc.).
  6. Don’t shoot at a moving vehicle.
  7. Never shoot at a close range.   
  8. Never leave loaded gun in reach of a child or individual that is not able to use the toy properly and safely. 

To be safe, all toy guns that shoot projectiles should be treated as a dangerous toy in order to ensure proper usage and precautions. Yes, Nerf guns can cause serious eye damage and even vision loss, but these type of injuries can be caused by many “harmless” objects as well. Before you purchase a toy like this for your child, ask yourself whether the child is old enough and mature enough to understand the safety issues involved and to be able to use it responsibly.  

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Dr Figler has enjoyed the many years of seeing patients at Family EyeCare Clinic and Kane and Figler Optometry and appreciated their confidence in his skills. The growth of his own practice in Slavic Village requires more of his attention located at 7211 Broadway Ave Cleveland, OH or call 216-641-0055 or visit his website broadwayoptical.net. We wish him the best of luck from the Family EyeCare Clinic.

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Need to see the Doctor?

If you have sudden vision loss, eye infection, severe ocular pain, sudden double vision, sudden flashes of light or new floaters; we are available to see you during our limited hours - 9:00 am through 12:00 pm. Call to make an appointment. Please do not bring additional individuals into the office unless necessary. Normal business is anticipated to return on April 6th, 2020 as mandated by the governor.

Our normal everyday standards of cleaning equipment with Lysol and alcohol wipes are still in effect. We are laser thermo testing patients prior to exams, extra cleaning of rooms between exams and team members not feeling well being asked to stay home. If you do not feel well or have symptoms of a cold or flu please reschedule until you feel better.

Yours in Eye Care,

Dr. Brian Kane