A mother is urging a ban on laser pens after her eight-year-old son suffered eye damage playing with the concentrated light beam.
They should naturally carry a warning label saying: Avoid contact with people and pilot’s eyes. Not recommended for young children or competing football fans.
The Jewish Chronicle reports:
Angela Marshall from Bushey Heath has urged action after her son, Jonathan, was left with a damaged retina after playing with a laser pen bough from his school’s Christmas fair.
“It was sold from a shop aimed at spending pocket money,” said Mrs Marshall. “Two days later on the way home from school my son complained that he had difficulty in seeing in school – he had black shadows and blue spots”.
A visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital confirmed that Jonathan had burnt his retina, but it is not yet certain whether his eyes will be permanently affected.
“I want to raise awareness of how dangerous these toys are,” said Mrs Marshall. “The problem is companies import cheap products which are never tested – and in this case [one of these products] has damaged my son’s eye. The laser beam was so strong that anyone of any age who crossed through its path could have suffered an injury.”
It is currently illegal to manufacture laser pointers in the UK but not to import them.
The Marshall’s MP Oliver Dowden is also helping to raise awareness of these dangerous lasers; a question was tabled in Parliament on 19 January putting pressure on the government to prevent laser pointers from being sold in the UK.
Mr Dowden said: “There appears to be a worrying loophole which allows these dangerous pens to be imported, when it’s illegal to manufacture them here. I’ve already taken this up with the Business Secretary and will be pursuing it in Parliament.”
Hertfordshire Trading Standards is investigating the case.
Hertfordshire County Council spokesman Andrew Dawson said: “We would urge people to be aware that there are different strengths of laser and not to aim laser beams at people’s heads and eyes, vehicles or aircraft.
“Only class 1 and class 2 lasers should be on sale to consumers and only class 1 or lower power lasers can be toys.”
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