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Mother is calling for laser pens to be banned after her son shone one in his eye and suffered a thermal burn

Jonny suffered a thermal burn on his retina after shining a laser pen in his eye Credit: GMB

A mother is calling for laser pointers to be banned after her son caused permanent damage to his eye.

It took eight-year-old Jonny Marshall a quarter of a second to burn his eye when he shone the laser in it to check if it was working.

Jonny had been to his sister's school fayre and begged his mother to buy him a laser pen.

They did, thinking it was a toy and not realising the damage it could do.

Jonny was sitting at home in Hertfordshire on the computer and playing with the laser.

He said he shone it in his eye to see how strong the laser was - and this left him with a thermal burn and damage to his retina.

His mother Angela Marshall told Good Morning Britain: "We bought it from a pocket market stall at the fayre for £6. Jonathan had been looking at it all day and it didn't cross our mind being at a toy stall that it could do the harm which it did."

If it had been within the UK regulations it wouldn't have done the damage, but unfortunately it had been imported and therefore it was a class 3B laser which is between five and 500 milliwatts.

– Angela Marshall

Class 3B lasers of between five and 500 milliwatts in power can inflict eye injuries in less than a second from up to 100 metres away.

Jonny with his mother Angela Credit: GMB

Jonny said: "We didn't know how much damage the laser pen could do."

Opthalmologist Fahd Quhill said a brief exposure to a strong laser is "enough to cause a retinal injury that can be life changing".

He said cases are on the rise and he has seen 11 children in Sheffield with damage caused by laser pens.

Lasers have been making headlines in the past few weeks after two incidents where planes were targeted by them - with one having to abort its journey after the beam dazzled the pilot.