Doctors warn of severe eye injures caused by Nerf guns
Nerf guns can cause severe eye injuries including internal bleeding, doctors have warned.
The plastic guns are popular with kids but could cause serious harm, they said.
Medics from Moorfields Eye Hospital in London saw three Nerf-related injuries over a three month period, a case study report in the British Medical Journal reveals.
Each of the cases involved a patient who had been hit in the eye by a bullet shot from a Nerf gun and was suffering with blurred vision and internal bleeding in the eye.
One of the patients, an 11-year-old child, suffered with swelling after being shot from a distance of two metres.
Each of the patients recovered fully from their injuries.
The toys shoot foam bullets but the authors of the report said that off-brand replacement bullets made of harder materials are also available to buy and could be to blame.
They also said that protective glasses might have to be used with the guns.
"This case series emphasises the seriousness of ocular injury from Nerf gun projectiles and calls into consideration the need for protective eyewear with their use," the report states.
"It also calls for reconsideration of the safe age limits for Nerf gun use in children."
Hasbro, which makes the toy, recommends that children be at least eight years old to use it and that only the branded Nerf bullets should be used.
A spokeswoman for the toy manufacturer has said that if used correctly, Nerf products are not hazardous.
"Consumers must never aim Nerf blasters at a person's eyes or face, should only use the foam darts and foam rounds designed for specific Nerf blasters and never modify darts or blasters," she told Sky News.