Common Toy Causes Boy To Lose 75% Of His Eyesight

Many people consider laser pointers a useful implement for classes and meetings. Others think pointers are amusing - specks of light that make cats go crazy or give your friends a laugh by pointing at something funny.

For some, they're considered a dangerous weapon.

Jonny Marshall's eyesight has been forever damaged after an encounter with a laser pointer. The 8-year-old asked his parents to buy him the 'toy' at a school fair, and they granted his wish.

Looking directly into laser pens can cause thermal burns on the eyes, leaving irreversible damage. There have been several cases of children's eyes being damaged by laser pens.

Jonny wanted to see how bright the laser pen was when he shone it in his eye for an about a quarter of a second. That was all it took to cause major damage. The boy said his eye instantly became blurry, which cleared up but left him with seeing a permanent spot.

A few days later he confessed to his mother what happened and how he was unable to read because of the spot.

After seeing the doctor, Jonny and his parents learned that the laser burned his retina. But since he was wearing glasses at the time, they believe that deflected some of the light or else the damage could have been much worse.

Jonny's mother didn't know this, and now she's trying to have them banned.

"If it had been within the UK regulations, it wouldn't have done the damage," Angela Marshall said. "But, unfortunately, it had been imported and therefore it was a class 3B laser, which is between 5 and 500 milliwatts."

The FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health says safety range is 3 to 5 mW. Some parents are trying to get the word out to others: this is not a toy.

Source: Wimp, ITV
Photos: Wimp, Chris Schrier/Flickr, ΒΟΥ/English Wikipedia, ITV

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