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Parents Beware: That Laser Pointer Could Blind Your Chid

Laser pointers are not toys! The number of eye injuries in children from lasers is rising because too many parents are unaware that a hand-held laser pointer can cause a laser burn injury to their child’s macula if the child looks directly into the beam, especially if it is a high-power laser bought over the internet. This burn can cause legal blindness and the inability to read or recognize faces.

Laser pointers cannot be sold in the US unless their energy output is 5 milliwatts or lower, but lasers purchased abroad can have energy outputs of up to 1,000 milliwatts. These lasers are extremely dangerous to eyes, and it is illegal to own them. Pointing any laser at an aircraft is a serious federal crime that is punishable by fines and in some cases imprisonment.

Always follow these rules:

  • Do not buy a laser pointer that emits more than 5 milliwatts
  • Never shine a laser pointer at a human eye
  • Do not buy a laser pointer for your child, or allow them to play with your pointer