How Parents protect their Children from Laser Pointers – Lasers are not Toys is a paid collaborative post in conjunction with RoSPA. As the mum of a tween and a teen, I am well aware of the lure of lasers. Both of my boys have at some point asked for one and we have had to sit them down and explain that although lasers are fabulous things and have some brilliant uses such as in medicine and industry that they are not toys.
We have also had a laser shone into our home by one of the teens from our neighbour’s house, so understand just how powerful they are. Many laser pointers are more powerful than is considered safe, but testing has also shown that many maybe 40 to 80 times more powerful than their label implies making them extremely dangerous. The popularity and low cost of lasers seem to have also brought with it an increase in eye damage which can be permanent reported by opticians here in the UK. What is more frightening is most of those affected are children under 10.
As parents, it is our responsibility to protect our children which is why I was more than happy to work on this campaign and share the danger of Laser pointers. I totally understand that a lot of laser points look like lightsabers and can be really interesting and appealing to kids. Heck, my boys’ love Star Wars and both have official lightsabers. However, I can now see how it is really important to be extra vigilant. My boys do have some toys that have lasers such as nerf guns with laser sighting and a spinning top that emits light, so the safety issue isn’t exclusive to handheld laser pointers.
How Parents protect their Children from Laser Pointers
- Firstly educate your child about the dangers of Laser pointers. Not even our blink reflex is fast enough to stop damage to eyes.
- Never give a handheld laser pointer to a child to play with – they are not toys.
- Explain that they are not toys and ask why they feel they need one.
- Don’t have them in your house.
- Always ensure that you are buying any toys that may contain a laser from a reputable shop check for the CE mark and ideally do not buy from an online marketplace without confirming you are buying from the UK.
- Hand-held laser devices are potentially very dangerous products. Seriously consider if you really need one in your home.
- If you do have to have one always model best behaviour.
- Explain that it is illegal to shine a laser at an airplane or vehicle. So serious that a prison sentence can be issued.