3DS might permanently damage children's eyes

British eye specialist warns that Nintendo 3DS could permanently damage young children's eyes

Following news last month that Nintendo warned its forthcoming new 3DS handheld is unsuitable for young children, a British eye specialist claims the latest gaming tech could permanently damage children's eyes.

Nintendo recently issued health and safety warnings on its own website that the forthcoming auto-stereoscopic (glasses-free) 3DS is unsuitable for under-sixes.

"One possible explanation for the safety advice issued by Nintendo could be something to do with children's 'critical eyesight period,' British eye expert and optician, Richard Pakey from The Eyewear Centre told TechRadar, when asked about the potential dangers of the Nintendo 3DS.

"This is arguably between the ages of 2 to 6 and at this stage children are very much in the developmental process visually, and any persuasions optically could indeed have a negative impact permanently."

Permanent eye damage?

"There is a grey area surrounding the potential eye health issues caused by 3D, this is concerning ALL age groups, not just under 6 year olds," Pakey added.

"Our own Professional body - the General Optical Council (GOC) cannot issue clinical guidance for 3D eyewear until the release of 'prescription' 3D eyewear which is due later this year.

Pakey also added that some children might not be able to achieve the 3D view due to "reduced binocular vision, rendering the 3D effect useless."

Nintendo's original statement was published on its Japanese website said that under-sixes' eyesight might be impaired by use of its new 3DS console.

Nintendo is set to officially unveil the plans for the UK 3DS launch at a press event in Amsterdam later this week.