From Teletubbies and Furbies to games consoles and Frozen dolls, without fail each year there is a new ‘must have’ toy for Christmas. This year is no exception and in 2017 the toy children will be desperate to get their hands on is a Nerf gun. Many of you will be familiar with these brightly coloured plastic guns which fire foam bullets or darts at speeds of up to 70mph.
However it seems more than just parents’ wallets may take a hit as top doctors have issued warnings regarding the toy guns. It has been suggested that the age limit on the toy (which is currently 8) should be increased and that protective eye goggles should be worn.
This is because the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published research showing there have been several eye injuries because of the guns. The BMJ confirmed that at least 3 patients have developed internal bleeding and suffered blurred vision after being hit by bullets from the guns. Although all of these patients have made a good recovery, experts at Moorfields Eye Hospital have warned that Nerf guns could lead to long term vision loss.
Alarmingly, this risk is increased even further by the use of cheaper, non-branded bullets which still fit Nerf guns. These bullets may be harder than the foam ones produced by Nerf gun manufacturer Hasbro and therefore have the ability to do much greater damage. It has also been reported that there are a number of You Tube videos which show children how to adapt their Nerf guns to allow them to shoot further and harder.
However Hasbro do warn players not to aim Nerf guns at the eyes or face, not to use non-branded bullets and they state their products undergo rigorous testing to ensure they are safe.
Blog by Claire Campbell, Lawyer