Call for laser regulation after boy's eye damaged

An eye specialist is calling for restrictions on high-powered laser pointers after one bought in Thailand as a toy permanently damaged an 11-year-old boy's right eye.

The 200 milliwatt laser pointer was bought for $15 during a family holiday in Thailand.

But after playing with it in his bedroom during a sleepover, the boy found he had a "fuzzy blob" in his vision which had been damaged when the laser beam reflected back into his right eye when pointed at a mirror.

Though his overall sight is still adequate, he has lost sharpness in his right eye, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The boy's mother, who did not want to be named, said a warning to avoid direct eye exposure could only be seen with a magnifying glass.

"There needs to be raised public awareness about the easy availability of them and the potential damage that can happen so quickly."

The boy's eye specialist, Dr Dianne Sharp, said voluntary standards were not adequate.

"Consumers do not understand the classification system. A class-three 200mW green laser is extremely dangerous."

The Air Line Pilots Association has also called for greater regulation after a number of incidents of lasers shone at planes.




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