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What a cheap laser can do, Beware!

Cyparagon

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Yup, it's the mum's fault.
I dunno, man. Is it her fault also in the sense that she could be prosecuted? What if he had poked himself in the eye with a stick even after the mother told him to be careful. What if he had got a crayon stuck in his nose even after being told not to. Would she be a bad parent for allowing these things in his presence? Where do you draw the line between parental negligence and "kids do stupid things sometimes".
 

H2Oxide

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I dunno, man. Is it her fault also in the sense that she could be prosecuted? What if he had poked himself in the eye with a stick even after the mother told him to be careful. What if he had got a crayon stuck in his nose even after being told not to. Would she be a bad parent for allowing these things in his presence? Where do you draw the line between parental negligence and "kids do stupid things sometimes".
Most parents know the dangers that a stick and crayon present. Most parents DON'T know the danger a laser presents. I still blame the mom for assuming that just because she bought it at a toy store that it was "safe". You'd think that if someone's kid asks them for something they know nothing about, they'd at least do a 10 minute google search to learn about the dangers it presented.
 

Benm

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Most parents know the dangers that a stick and crayon present. Most parents DON'T know the danger a laser presents. I still blame the mom for assuming that just because she bought it at a toy store that it was "safe".
It depends: If it is sold as a 'toy' you should probably assume it's fairly safe. Then again there are countless kids that get lego pieces stuck up their noses every year, but extracting them usually leaves no permanent damage.

I'm sure some of you grew up in fairly suburbain area's and did things like make fires, with matches from the supermarket, perhaps some turpentine or denatured alcohol from the home improvement store, and just sticks and logs laying around.

I sure did when i was kid, and i think my parents were somewhat aware of that, but they also clearly explained that fire is dangerous when you get to close and all that - so while setting up countless bonfires and such with friends (think ages 9 to 14 or so), noone was ever -seriously- hurt. Maybe a blister here or there, some burned off hair that grew back, but nothing like permanent blindness.

I think the worst result of those shenanigans was our 'invention' of the hot air balloon that consisted of a turpentine soaked cotton ball mounted under a plastic garbage bag as a 'hot air balloon'. This worked very well as a system, but one of them got the bag on fire and landed on the bank of a creek setting a significant fire to the fairly dry vegetation around the crash site. No injuries though, and not even a fire department, it just burned for a bit until we threw buckets of water from the creek on it :D
 

H2Oxide

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It depends: If it is sold as a 'toy' you should probably assume it's fairly safe. Then again there are countless kids that get lego pieces stuck up their noses every year, but extracting them usually leaves no permanent damage.

I'm sure some of you grew up in fairly suburbain area's and did things like make fires, with matches from the supermarket, perhaps some turpentine or denatured alcohol from the home improvement store, and just sticks and logs laying around.

I sure did when i was kid, and i think my parents were somewhat aware of that, but they also clearly explained that fire is dangerous when you get to close and all that - so while setting up countless bonfires and such with friends (think ages 9 to 14 or so), noone was ever -seriously- hurt. Maybe a blister here or there, some burned off hair that grew back, but nothing like permanent blindness.

I think the worst result of those shenanigans was our 'invention' of the hot air balloon that consisted of a turpentine soaked cotton ball mounted under a plastic garbage bag as a 'hot air balloon'. This worked very well as a system, but one of them got the bag on fire and landed on the bank of a creek setting a significant fire to the fairly dry vegetation around the crash site. No injuries though, and not even a fire department, it just burned for a bit until we threw buckets of water from the creek on it :D

I get what you're saying, and I'm not disagreeing that kids will be kids, but that's part of the reason why I think the mom is to blame.

She warned him not to look down the barrel, so she was obviously aware that the laser was at least moderately dangerous, and yet she never thought to herself "Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID look into the laser? I don't really know... Maybe I should look up the dangers of laser pointers before I let my 9 year old play with it unsupervised?". Had she seen that permanent blindness was a possibility, the boy might still have his sight.

For any of you who think this is unrealistic, I only present this scenario because it's exactly what happened when I asked my parents for my first laser pointer.
 

Pelagius

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Sounds about right Benm!
I grew up in the forest-and we played with lots of things that had some danger attached. I think you went a little farther into danger than I did. My craziest was prying the slug off of bullets-and burning the gunpowder (nowhere near intact bullets)- always on dry clay soil without anything to catch fire.
We also had "monkey bars" to play on (gymnastic bars) and other similar things that have long been banned as unsafe.
I think the poor kid got an over spec Chinese laser-as has been mentioned by many. But even a "safe" 1mW is not a kid toy.

It depends: If it is sold as a 'toy' you should probably assume it's fairly safe. Then again there are countless kids that get lego pieces stuck up their noses every year, but extracting them usually leaves no permanent damage.

I'm sure some of you grew up in fairly suburbain area's and did things like make fires, with matches from the supermarket, perhaps some turpentine or denatured alcohol from the home improvement store, and just sticks and logs laying around.

I sure did when i was kid, and i think my parents were somewhat aware of that, but they also clearly explained that fire is dangerous when you get to close and all that - so while setting up countless bonfires and such with friends (think ages 9 to 14 or so), noone was ever -seriously- hurt. Maybe a blister here or there, some burned off hair that grew back, but nothing like permanent blindness.

I think the worst result of those shenanigans was our 'invention' of the hot air balloon that consisted of a turpentine soaked cotton ball mounted under a plastic garbage bag as a 'hot air balloon'. This worked very well as a system, but one of them got the bag on fire and landed on the bank of a creek setting a significant fire to the fairly dry vegetation around the crash site. No injuries though, and not even a fire department, it just burned for a bit until we threw buckets of water from the creek on it :D
 

Encap

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I get what you're saying, and I'm not disagreeing that kids will be kids, but that's part of the reason why I think the mom is to blame.

She warned him not to look down the barrel, so she was obviously aware that the laser was at least moderately dangerous, and yet she never thought to herself "Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID look into the laser? I don't really know... Maybe I should look up the dangers of laser pointers before I let my 9 year old play with it unsupervised?". Had she seen that permanent blindness was a possibility, the boy might still have his sight.

For any of you who think this is unrealistic, I only present this scenario because it's exactly what happened when I asked my parents for my first laser pointer.
Exactly right---it is the responsibility of the parent or parents to educate, provide for, and protect their children from harms way.
In the USA she would be investigated by Child Protective Services would be my guess.

There are tens of millions of bad/poor and stupid parents who never should have had children everywhere in the world that don't have the desire, brains, education, or the funds to raise a child properly and/or give it a good life nor a good start in life.
This is just another example of same.
 
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Bacon

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Even though there was some bad parenting; Im sure that the label on that laser probably said "5mW".
I've bought plenty of those "5mW" pens. Some would make the dark spots on my skin tingle, and pop balloons.

When I was younger I remember people starring into those 1mW cat toy lasers that would have probably tried this one too if available at the time. :scowl:
 
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I feel the same about the mom making a bad choice for the kid. What was she 36 or 38 try old Dumb as a box of rocks. If he gets his normal sight back that will be a lesson well learned but costly and its not his fault poor boy.
Yes it may be mom's fault. technically. You should not forget that most people out there do not share your knowledge and have to believe the judgment of others, like

  • it was sold as a toy, so it MUST be safe
  • It might be labelled "correctly"
  • Yes it IS very bright, but isn't this just what it ought to do?
  • "I looked only for two seconds mom!"
  • This Burger & Cola menu does not make you fat
  • this atomic waste is quite harmless
  • there is no such thing as man made climate change
  • it is still uncler whether smoking really has a connection to cancer
So telling the kid to not shine it into the eye is similar to "do not poke the scissors into your eye" or "staring to long into the TV will get you square eyes". Parents BlahBlah. Noone ever believes such things really would happen. So there is no real point to verify that the pointer is NOT a weapon instead.

Could mom tell that the pointer is overspec? Could the merchant? He probably bought a box of "Class 1 green Laser pointer, great gift for your children" as I have seen advertized elsewhere. The pointer had no official label on it? So what? Who outside this board knows how a Laser device has to be labelled? Who would be able to prove it wrong, even if it is?

I would not call myself an idiot, but I could not judge the laser class by watching the spot - at least I would have not been able before i came here.

You are much more sensitive to this topic as the casual consumer.

I don't want to blame mom or the boy or even the merchant. Not even the government, as there ARE laws that regulate that. They just don't work like they where meant to. Otherwise you all would have nothing to talk about here. LPF discussions of "new and cool Class 1 devices" are pointless. :beer:

The family has enough problems remaining, even if we don't call them idiots, unable to raise children.
 

Cyparagon

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"Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID look into the laser?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID poke his eye out with a stick?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID poke an outlet with a fork?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID put his hand on the stove?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID leap from his top bunk?

Dangers are everywhere. Children cannot be sheltered from them all. She warned him. How much more can you really ask? Sounds like maybe you think a 9 year old isn't capable of thinking for himself and being responsible for his own actions, which may be a valid point. But perhaps the mother is in a better position to make this judgment than you are. Even though she was ostensibly wrong in this case, she's stayed out of the news for the decade prior, which is a good indication she's made the right calls in the past.

Bicycles are far more dangerous than laser pointers. Say a mother gives her 9-year-old a bicycle, teaches him how to ride it, and the safest areas to be. Is she negligent when the child ignores her advice and tries to go off a jump when she isn't looking, and injures himself?
 

RedCowboy

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So the 9 year old said he only looked into the laser for 2 seconds...........

Is that 1 second per eye ?

The doctor was amazed at the amount of damage.

Did the boy blind 1 eye then decide to blind the other? Was the damage immediate I suppose would be another question.

I bet he looked into it a lot, several times for longer each time and then watched the colors afterwards until finally he went too far, he may have been seeing spots all day, I don't believe this 2 seconds BS and I bet the Chinese seller thought that nobody would stare into one of these.

Would a 9 year old hold a magnifying glass up towards the sun and look at it ?

I played with magnifying glasses when I was very young, I used to burn leaves and pine cones, pine straw ect....

I knew better than to hold the glass between the sun and my eye, nobody had to tell me that, and I knew not to ride my bike out in front of traffic, well I was told not to.

Anyway the boy was told not to do it yet in ( 2 seconds ) blinded both eyes ?

No I doubt that, I watched a 16 year old on you tube shine a cheap greenie into both his eyes on purpose for the purpose of making content for his youtube channel, he had to force himself to hold his eye open, that is he had to noticeably and audibly fight against his blink reflex, I would bet the 1st time the kid shined it into his eye he blinked, he would had to have worked his way up to even ( 2 seconds ), I bet he was watching the colors from doing this over and over.


---EDIT---
My parents used to tell me " Don't stare into the sun or you'll go blind " and I would take a glimpse anyway, but not for more than a half second, maybe 1 second at the most and I was very young, maybe 9 years old......1st grade I was 6 years old so 9 years I would have been in 4th grade.......I bet a certain number of children do stare at the sun and receive damage every year, who's fault is that when the parents tell them not to do it ?

Why don't babies in a stroller go blind from staring at the sun ? How about 4-5 year olds who are playing in the kiddie pool during the hot summer months, I think the reason parents tell us " Don't stare at the sun " is because they see us looking at it, kids who stare into the sun may get damage, when they do I bet they say " I only looked into the sun for 2 seconds "

Of interest:
https://www.irreligion.org/2008/03/...ing-at-the-sun-trying-to-see-the-virgin-mary/


SUNGAZING ?

 
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Benm

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Staring into the sun is one of those things: I -can- do rapid damage to your eyes under "ideal" conditions, if you are in the tropics and do it at noon on a cloudless day. In such cases you may suffer some eye damage if you actively tried to do this.

But under -most- conditions starting into the sun will not do permanent damage to your eyes before it becomes so uncomfortable you stop doing so. So you may be seeing spots for a bit, but it'll heal.

With lasers this is obviously a very different story: if it's severely over the rated 1 or even 5 mW of power, the damage is already done before you can blink or let go of the power button etc. Your pain/avoidance reflexes are simply too slow to avoid damage.

With things like knives, scissors, matches or even pencils it's pretty obvious how you could hurt yourself with those. Lasers are a much less known hazard though.

I think the vendor is in the wrong here, IF he sold the laser pointers as 'toys' with a warning label that was not accurate either. If a vendor imports a product from outside the EU it is -his- responsibility to make sure it is safe to use and conforms to european safety standards. It's perfectly possible the vendor had no bad intentions and just imported a pallet of these laser pointers believing a "<1 mW power" from china, and that could even be on the label.

Downside for the vendor is that such a label doesn't mean that much. One thing that could seriously throw vendors off are fake CE labels though, those are hard to spot. Even if you ask for the certification report you may get one for a product that looks -exactly- like the one you are selling externally but has completely different stuff inside. So I can imagine that the vendor had no ill intent at all, and even if the checked the CE on the product he may have been falsely convinced the product was safe.
 

RedCowboy

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In the US the toy store would get sued, no doubt about that, and really they should not be selling these as toys because people are idiots.
 

WizardG

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I feel bad for both the kid and their Mom. But their ignorance affects all of us. Banning laser pointers, if it ever happens, will be because of the press that 'sensational' incidents like this (and plane dotting) garners. Before they get banned I'd prefer some reasonable legislation like age requirements for purchasing lasers. We already have power limits for <legal> pointers, age requirements seem reasonable. Of course enforcement would then be a problem. How do you verify age when buying online, click a checkbox?
 

H2Oxide

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Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID poke his eye out with a stick?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID poke an outlet with a fork?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID put his hand on the stove?
Hmm, I wonder what would happen if my curious 9 year old DID leap from his top bunk?

Dangers are everywhere. Children cannot be sheltered from them all. She warned him. How much more can you really ask? Sounds like maybe you think a 9 year old isn't capable of thinking for himself and being responsible for his own actions, which may be a valid point. But perhaps the mother is in a better position to make this judgment than you are. Even though she was ostensibly wrong in this case, she's stayed out of the news for the decade prior, which is a good indication she's made the right calls in the past.

Bicycles are far more dangerous than laser pointers. Say a mother gives her 9-year-old a bicycle, teaches him how to ride it, and the safest areas to be. Is she negligent when the child ignores her advice and tries to go off a jump when she isn't looking, and injures himself?
Parents know the risks associated with all of those things. If they deem the potential consequences too severe they WILL shelter their children from them. I mean you wouldn't let a 9 year old play with a loaded firearm, would you?

My point is that the mother ASSUMED that she knew how dangerous the laser was, but obviously she didn't and now her kid has to pay the price for her assumption. Yeah, the kid's f**kin' stupid, and like RCB pointed out is probably lying about how long he looked into it, but I still put the blame on the mother. I mean how hard is it to look up "dangers of laser pointers"? First result on Google is laserpointersafety.com, which will clearly illustrate that laser pointers are NOT toys. The second result is on how over 90% of green laser pointers are overspec.

I'm not saying she's a bad parent, and I doubt she even realized what kind of potential danger she was putting her child in. I wouldn't expect a normal consumer to be thinking about that kind of thing, but the blame still falls on her because she could have easily prevented it.
 
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RedCowboy

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I wouldn't be surprised if the mother hadn't caught the kid shining it in his eye and told him not to do it or you'll go blind, the kid waited all day to report the problem so you know he felt guilty of doing something he had likely been told not to do many times, I agree this is ignorance on behalf of the mother and the toy store.
 




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