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Your Health Matters

Laser Toy Dangers

December 12, 2013 9:38am (EST)
Courtesy, <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gi/3232485/" target="_blank">GI (Flickr)</a>
Courtesy, GI (Flickr)

Lasers are cutting edge. They’re used in all kinds of products -- from music players and printers, to surgical tools.

But use of lasers in toys has the FDA worried and, as a parent and a physician, I share their concern.

There are lasers on toy guns to help you aim, tops with lasers that project a beam as they spin, and toy light sabers with lasers for beams.

Then there are mom’s or dad’s laser pointer or keychain which can be easily snatched to use as a toy.

Lasers can be dangerous. Pointed in the wrong place, they can cause serious eye injuries, including blindness. It may only takes a second, and then it’s too late.
The really scary part is eye damage may not be obvious immediately, then can get worse over time, and lead to permanent harm.

Never point a laser at a person or an animal. And don’t shine it at a reflective surface. The beam can bounce back and harm you.

And parents: think carefully about buying a laser-containing toy.

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