Nerf guns, or blasters, are tremendously popular among both adults and children alike. Using a soft foam “dart” or “bullet”, they create seemingly harmless fun. However, some emergency room doctors are warning of potential harm after treating serious eye injuries caused by the toy guns. If you or your child uses a Nerf blaster, the personal injury attorneys at Tapalian Law ask you to take note of the potential eye injury risk these toys could cause. After all, many of us were brought up using Nerf products and still do to this day. Considering they are made of soft foam, we often consider them to be a safer alternative than some other hard plastic toy options on the market, but that may not always be the case.
Potential Eye Injury from Nerf Guns
After concern being raised by physicians in London seeing serious eye injuries, U.S. doctors are starting to take note and re-examine the safety of these products. According to doctors in London, three patients were taken to the hospital with eye pain and blurred vision after being hit in the eye with a Nerf gun projectile being used by a child. All three patients suffered from inflammation in the eye and a pooling of blood in the back portion of the eye, called hyphema. The child patient also developed swelling in their cornea and retina. The bleeding in the patients did eventually cease and their eyesight returned to normal. As personal injury lawyers, we know that minor injuries can quickly turn into major damage with life-long repercussions. Doctors warn that eye injuries can quite often be serious and can cause long-term issues, potentially the development of glaucoma, as well as vision damage including permanent loss of eyesight.
Based on physician feedback, it appears that darts purchased online for these toy guns are more harmful than the actual Nerf ones that come with the blaster. Users of the Nerf guns have found it cheaper to purchase the darts, or “bullets”, used in the guns from various online manufacturers other than Nerf. Users say they can easily go through dozens of darts in one play session and buying them “off-label” online is much cheaper. However, the “off-label” brand tend to be much harder and more prone to causing injuries. Some users may also attempt to manipulate the devices themselves to make the guns shoot faster.
Injuries Could Open Foam Gun Manufacturers to Product Liability Complaints
As parents, it is important that we review precautions, warnings, and read usage instructions with our children when using potentially harmful toys and use our best judgement when deciding if protective eye wear is appropriate. Most toys and products, including Nerf Blasters, carry explicit manufacturer instructions detailing proper product usage, appropriate ages, and warnings. For example, on a specific Nerf Vortex Blaster, the instructions include not only how to put together the blaster, but also state that use is intended for ages 8 and up and carries the specific caution- “Do not aim at eyes or face. To avoid injury: Use only discs designed for this product. Do not modify discs or disc blaster”. If the user of the toy or product is injured by the item and can show proof that the product was being used correctly as intended based on the manufacturer’s instructions, and were using the item as a “reasonable consumer” would, they should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney. A lawyer specializing in personal injury will review the complaint and if the toy was being used as intended and if able to prove that the injury would not have happened to the victim if not for the fault of the product, file a product liability lawsuit. If, however, the toy was not being used as intended, it will be much more difficult to have a valid claim and prove that the toy manufacturer is responsible for your injuries and damages.
Seek the Advice of An Experienced Providence Personal Injury Attorney for Your Product Liability Claim
If you, or your child, has been injured by a toy or other type of product that you deem harmful or faulty, seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney in the Providence area. Personal injury lawyer David Tapalian has over 15 years of experience helping those hurt in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip & falls, and premises liability accidents. We understand how getting hurt can put you and your family under tremendous stress. Not only are injuries painful and require recovery time, they can also take a financial toll. You may be eligible to seek financial compensation for your injuries and damages such as hospital bills, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you have been hurt due to another’s negligence or carelessness, seek the guidance of a personal injury attorney. Call Tapalian Law at 401-552-5000 or contact us online. With convenient offices in Providence and Seekonk, let us start helping you today.