Warning over 'gel blaster' toy guns after two boys were shot in the eye

"They're lucky not to have been blinded"

Content Editor / June 10 2019

Doctors at a children’s hospital in Queensland have warned against the dangers of gel blaster guns after two children were shot in the eye, leaving pools of blood behind their corneas.

The two boys, aged 14 and four, temporarily lost vision in their eyes and face a higher risk of irreversible damage in the future such as glaucoma or cataracts.

Doctors say the children are lucky not to have been permanently blinded and are urging parents to keep gel guns away from their children, Daily Mail reports.

BMJ Case Reports

BMJ Case Reports

They explained the young boys' injuries in a medical case report warning about the dangers of the blasters.

Gel blasters, also known as water ball guns or hydro-blaster guns, are sometimes considered to be a toy but can seriously damage eyes, the doctors said.

The guns are available online from Amazon and cost around $17. Doctors say they should be regulated in the same way as paintball and airsoft guns.

BMJ Case Reports

BMJ Case Reports

The blasters use springs to fire gel pellets in a similar way to airsoft guns, and are part of a growing interest in simulated warfare games, researchers said.

Doctors also warned eye protection should always be worn when playing with the guns.

In the report, they also said the children's injuries were "an ophthalmological emergency, with rapid and permanent vision loss possible if not managed appropriately".

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.

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