1st consideration, adults and children must think to wear or be instructed to wear Eye Protective Glasses or Goggles before using a non-powder gun, because 98% of the severe eye injuries from non-powder guns are to people who don’t wear eye protection.

One of the most gut wrentching surgical duties of an Ophthallmologist, Eye MD Surgeon, is the removal of a precious, innocent child’s eye, after the eye sustained unrepairable trauma from a non-powder gun injury, Most have not heard of a death form a non-powder gun, but they happen.

Traumatized exploded eyes, too damaged to piece back together, are to be removed to prevent Sympathetic Ophthalmia, a disorder that blinds the non-traumatized sypathetic eye, after the compainion eye has been unrepairably traumatized, an American Academy of Ophthalmology Surgical Policy,

Parents and loved ones, poised in hospital waiting rooms, outside surgical departments, awaiting news about their child, are ‘crushed’ and ‘give-way’ to learn the horrific fate of their precious, innocent child’s traumatized eye. Aged, experienced surgeons, themselves, are never immune to the emotional waiting room tsunami.

The shocking report to the family of the loss of a child’s eye ranks up there, for an instant, emotionally, with the loss of a loved one, although the later is, of course, significantly, beyond campare, more important and the grieving more intense. Grieving for the eye is tempered somewhat, when loved ones realize the injury did not result in loss of the loved one.

Tragically, Non-powder gun injuries can culminate in the loss of a child’s eye or, even worse, the death of a child from another injured anatomical body part.

So what is a non-powder gun? “”> A “non-powder gun” is a gun that does not need gun powder to fire. Instead, it uses compressed air or other gases, springs, or electricity to fire. This includes BB guns, paintball guns, airsoft guns and pellet guns.

What are non-powder guns?

  • Non-powder guns differ in size, shape and color, and they each shoot a different type of ammo:
  • BB guns fire ball bearings (BB’s), which are small, round metal balls.
  • Pellet guns fire small pellets, usually made of lead, which vary in shape.
  • Paintball guns fire paintballs, which are small gelatin balls filled with paint.
  • Airsoft guns fire small, plastic pellets.
  • Children under 18 should always have an adult with them when using non-powder guns.
  • Children must be at least 10 years old to play at most paintball fields, and if they are under 18, they will need their parent’s consent.
  • Individuals must be at least 18 to buy a BB gun or airsoft gun.
  • Non-powder guns should never be taken out in public. There are areas for the operation of these guns, such as paintball fields, where their use is controlled and supervised.

From 1990 to 2000, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 39 non-powder gun related deaths. Many people make the mistake of treating non-powder guns as toys, but they are actually weapons. They cause serious injury if the proper safety measures are not taken. <“”  [Non-Powder Gun Safety, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Coloumbus, Ohio]

Recent research focused on Pediatric Non-Powder Guns (NPG), compared to Powder-Gun Injuries (GSW, Gun Shot Wounds) in hopes of learning prevention measures.

“Non-powder guns (NPG), compared to powder-gun injuries (GSW, Gun Shot Wounds) are viewed as toys for children by the general public.

“Literature on firearm injuries in the pediatric population is increasing, however there are still large gaps in the published literature regarding NPG.

“This research intended to identify and compare the epidemiology, circumstances of injury and outcomes of children with NPG versus powder-gun injuries (GSW).

“There were 43 NPG and 112 GSWs. Patients were predominantly male (36 children; 84%) NPG vs. 92 children; 82% GSW) with a median age in both groups of 11 years.

Analysis of residential zip codes showed that 74% (32 children) NPG injuries and 85% (95 children) GSW lived in regions with higher poverty than the national level.

“Children with NPG injuries were more likely to be Caucasian (24 children; 56%) and to have suffered an unintentional injury (36 children; 84%), while children with GSW were African-American (80 children; 71%; p = 0.0002) and victims of assault (50 children; 45%; p < 0.0001).

“When compared with NPG, children with GSW had more severe injuries, longer hospital stays, and higher overall mortality. There were no significant differences in rate of emergent OR intervention and ED mortality between the two groups.

“Our results highlight two important findings.

“First, NPG injuries were accidental and thus preventable with improved legislation and public education.

“Second, health disparities related to gun violence among African-Americans are prevalent even in early childhood and prevention efforts should include this younger population. [ A comparison between non-powder gun and powder-gun injuries in a young pediatric population by Jennifer J.Freemana, Marielena Bachier-Rodriguez, Jessica Staszakb, Alexander Feliza, Elsevier, Volume 48, Issue 9, September 2017, Pages 1951-1955]

“”> Air guns are rising in popularity and now account for the majority of pediatric eye injuries requiring hospital admissions.

These eye injuries occur without ocular protection and may lead to permanent eye injury. Increasing regulations for eye protection, sales, and usage of air guns are needed to prevent serious pediatric eye injuries.

n 2012 roughly 3,161 children were treated in US emergency departments for nonpowder gun-related eye injuries. Since 2010 rates of severe nonpowder gun pediatric eye injury have increased by over 500% (P = 0.039). Specifically, while rates of hospital admission due to paintball gun eye injury have dropped precipitously (P = 0.0077), rates of admissions for air gun eye injuries have increased by over 600% since 2010 (P = 0.033).

Children sustaining eye injury due to air guns are more likely to be diagnosed and admitted with foreign body or ocular puncture injury. Roughly 28% of documented cases of airsoft or BB gun–related injury had visual acuity worse than 20/50 after initial treatment. Over 98% of injuries occurred without eye protection. <“”  [Pediatric eye injuries due to nonpowder guns in the United States, 2002-2012 Rachel Lee BS , Douglas Fredrick MD, FAAP, FAC, Journal of American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, Volume 19, Issue 2, April 2015, Pages 163-168]

Please see the American Academy of Ophthalmology bulletin ‘Protective Eyewear’ for home, work and play:

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