All responsible parents want their children to be healthy and happy. We do our best to protect them, but sometimes, we may do things that could harm them.
Unfortunately, this is a bit of a live-and-learn scenario. Parenting isn’t perfect, and sometimes mistakes will be made that can get the child into trouble or even harm them. In the following story, that is what happened, and it is heartbreaking.
I believe the young boy was playing with a toy that is found in almost every household. It is a laser pointer, and I use the word toy loosely because children should never handle it.
One 14-year-old boy paid the price for this, and eye doctors in Australia now warn parents that laser pointers should never be considered toys. As a matter of fact, they can cause more harm than you might think.
Ben Armitage is the optometrist who is checking on the problem. Probably more surprising than anything else about the situation is the fact that the little boy only pointed the laser pointer at his eye for a short time. It’s not like he held it there for an extended period of time.
Laser pointers can cause so much damage so quickly that it surprises most people. Armitage said: “On Friday night he’d gotten hold of a laser pen and unfortunately shined it in his eyes for a very brief period of time.
As a result of the issue, the boy lost 75% of his vision. In reality, he burned the retina in the back of his eye, very near the macular.
Our vision is very detailed and much of it is due to our macula. When that part of the eye is damaged, vision loss is greater than it should be.
While the youngster didn’t experience pain as a result of the injury, he did lose his vision almost immediately. They hope that the swelling caused by the laser pointer will eventually subside and some of his vision will return.
You might think he will just be able to wear glasses to get over the problem, but that is not true. You can’t fix that problem with glasses, just like you can’t fix a camera with a new lens when the sensor is damaged.
He has damage to his central vision. You use it for reading, driving, and seeing the details of what you are looking at. Damage to the central vision cannot be repaired.
Optometry Tasmania has issued a warning informing parents that laser pointers are not toys.