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HomeminewsToy Gun Eye Injuries Increase

Toy Gun Eye Injuries Increase

Eye trauma associated with non-powder guns – such as foam projectile blasters – is increasing, according to a French study.

The investigative team said consumer attention to age labelling and the promotion of safety glasses to protect children’s eyes might prevent many of these unintentional injuries.

Led by Dr Gilles Martin, from the ophthalmology department at Rothschild Foundation Hospital, the study team aimed to establish the annual incidence and severity of non-powder gun-related injuries presenting at its eye emergency department.1

The team retrospectively reviewed the medical records of all cases of non-powder gun-associated trauma managed since 2010.

Upon analysis, investigators found a total of 304 patients (mean age, 16 years; 234 [77%] male) consulted the eye emergency department after ocular trauma associated with a toy non-powder gun between January 2010 and June 2022.

Data showed the most frequent toys involved in injury were foam projectiles in 151 cases (50%; mean age, 15 years), a BB or airsoft gun in 110 cases (36%; mean age, 16 years), a paintball gun in 31 cases (10%; mean age, 22 years), and unspecified in 12 cases (4%; mean age, seven years).

In relation to foam-projectile blaster-associated injuries, the researchers noted an increase in injuries, and a decrease in the mean age of patients from 16 years in 2014 to 10 years in 2022.

The researchers said the COVID-19 pandemic could have interfered with epidemiological trends.

1. Denel, A., Boulanger, E., Vignal-Clermont, C., et al., Incidence of eye trauma in children associated with foam bullets or foam darts from nonpowder guns. JAMA Ophthalmol. Published online 11 May 2023. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2023.1464