By Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 14:43 BST, 10 June 2019 | Updated: 14:44 BST, 10 June 2019
Two children shot in the eye with 'gel blaster' guns were lucky not to have been blinded and under-18s shouldn't be allowed to buy them, doctors warn.
They explained the young boys' injuries in a medical case report warning about the dangers of the blasters – spring-powered guns which fire gel pellets.
Gel blasters, also known as water ball guns or hydro-blaster guns, are in some places considered a toy but can seriously damage eyes, the doctors said.
Both the boys, who were aged 14 and four, temporarily lost vision in their eye and face a higher risk of irreversible damage in the future.
The doctors said sales of the guns, which are available on Amazon in the UK for as little as £15 and $17 in the US, should regulated in the same way as paintball and airsoft guns.
The 14-year-old suffered a scratch to his cornea and blood visible pooling in his eye – it took him three weeks to recover from the injury
Doctors from the opthalmology department at Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service reported the unnamed children's injuries.
The 14-year-old was hit in the left eye with a gel ball fired from 10m (32 feet) away and was left in 'severe pain', vomiting and struggling to see.
The pressure inside his eye was about three times as high as in the healthy eye and blood pooled in his iris, leaving a black mark.
His cornea also had a 3mm (0.1 inch) scratch on it and his pupil became fully dilated.
It took three weeks – two of them on bed rest with his head elevated – for the eye to recover, but doctors warned he had started to develop a cataract.
The four-year-old boy was shot in the left eye with a gel ball by his brother 'at close range'.
He also suffered from a tear on his cornea and blood pooling in his eye, and took three weeks to recover.
Gel blaster guns can