Beware of Injury Risks When Purchasing Laser Toy Products

Making a holiday shopping list? Be sure to check it twice. Because certain types of toys, like laser toys, may be dangerous for children.

A new report warns that despite their popularity, some can actually cause serious, even permanent eye damage. Many of these items are available for sale through the internet, making them easily obtainable.

The Dr. J. Fernando Arevalo, professor of ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, believes this type access could be the start of a disturbing trend: teens and young adults suffering temporary or potentially irreversible vision loss.

Just this past summer the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning that even low-level laser toys pose a risk of injury to those who are in range of the beam.

In many cases the person may not even know damage has been done, as it could take days or weeks before vision problems become evident. The FDA also indicates that the laser beam can be more dangerous than looking directly into the sun.

Although these toys include warnings about the danger of shining the laser in someone’s eyes, not everyone will adhere to it. And with many of these products increasing in their laser power, the risk of serious injury also goes up.

The FDA does have recommendations concerning laser toy products, in that they not exceed Class 1, considered nonhazardous. Once a laser reaches class II or higher, the risk of someone being injured increases.

Examples of products that could be dangerous to children and teens include handheld lasers (such as light sabers) and lasers mounted on toys (guns, spinning tops). The FDA recommends that when purchasing this type of product, consumers look for a label that states the product is in compliance with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.

If a product causes injury, victims might have grounds for a product liability case. Gacovino, Lake & Associates can help – call 800-550-0000 to set up a consultation.

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