Pediatric ocular injuries from airsoft toy guns
PURPOSE: To report ocular injuries caused by airsoft guns in children.
METHODS: A retrospective chart review of pediatric patients who sustained ocular injuries related to airsoft guns between November 2005 and December 2007. Place of trauma, presenting symptoms and signs, surgical interventions performed, and final visual outcome were reviewed.
RESULTS: Thirty-two patients with a mean age of 8.8 ± 4.0 years (range: 1.5 to 18 years) were examined; 28 were boys (87.5%). Presenting visual acuity ranged from hand motions to 20/20 and could not be assessed in 2 patients. Hyphema was a common finding that was present in 24 cases, corneal abrasions were present in 10 cases, and raised intraocular pressure was present in 7 cases. Seven patients presented with traumatic cataract, and two had iridodialysis. Immediate surgical intervention was performed in 7 patients and 7 patients were scheduled for elective surgery. The patients presented after an average of 1.9 ± 1.9 days (range: 4 hours to 6 days) after the injury. Average follow-up was 18 days (range: 7 days to 5 months). Final visual acuity was 20/200 or worse in 5 patients, 20/40 or better in 23 patients, and could not be assessed in 2 cases.
CONCLUSION: Airsoft guns can cause a variety of serious injuries, sometimes necessitating operative intervention. The long-term morbidity from some of these injuries is significant. Airsoft guns are capable of inflicting serious and permanent ocular damage.