Can a Flashlight Hurt Baby’s Eyes? What Parents Need to Know

Last Updated on May, 2024

We’ve always heard that flashlights can harm your child’s eyes. Whenever you are using a flashlight around babies, someone will definitely ask you to be careful about them babies! 

The truth is, a flashlight won’t harm your child’s eyes if appropriately used. 

But there are many things you should determine whether your flashlight’s light will harm the baby’s eyes or not.

In this article, we will explain everything about flashlights’ impact on baby eyes and how you can avoid them. 

So, let’s get into it. 

Quick Summary

Flashlights can harm a baby’s eyes if used incorrectly.

Factors to consider when using a flashlight around a baby include light intensity, color, and distance.

If a baby’s eyes are already hurt by a flashlight’s light, a doctor should be consulted.

Can a Flashlight’s Light Really Hurt Baby Eyes? 

A Baby's Eyes

It entirely depends on the flashlight’s light quality, strength, and duration. For example, if you use a powerful 3000-lumen flashlight on the baby’s eyes from a closer distance, it’ll definitely hurt the baby’s eyes. 

Even if you use a less powerful flashlight on baby eyes for hours, it can still hurt their eyes.

So, yes! A flashlight’s light can really hurt baby eyes. 

How Flashlights Harm a Baby’s Eyes?

Looking at a gleaming object for a long time can harm anyone’s eye, and things can be more dangerous when it comes to baby eyes. 

Exposure to bright light affects the retinal nerve fiber layer in a baby’s eyes, and it causes problems like eye strain, dryness, irritation, tears, and vision impairment. 

Besides, eye discomfort and temporary blindness are the most common side effect seen in most cases.

Things to Consider When Using a Flashlight Around a Baby

For the baby’s well-being, there are some factors we should consider. Which are: 

  • Don’t use too bright a flashlight around a baby. If the light goes to the baby’s eye, it can cause discomfort and even damage the baby’s eyesight. 
  • The color of the light can also be a problem. Bright white light can irritate a child’s eye and cause discomfort, whereas lights with warm color temperatures like yellow or orange don’t affect much. 
  • Make sure the flashlight has enough charge. It is because a flashlight with a lower battery percentage tends to get dimmer or flickers often, which can be scary for the baby. 
  • Ensure the distance of the light is far enough. Using a flashlight from a short distance around a child may impact their eyes. That’s why the flashlight must be at least three feet away from the children. 
  • When using a flashlight (especially a powerful one), it’s essential to make sure that the baby isn’t around the direction of the light. So, whenever you are using the flashlight, make sure the child isn’t coming in the direction of light. 
  • If you use an ancient flashlight model that uses an incandescent bulb, it’s better to keep these flashlights out of the range of children. It is because, after usage, these flashlights tend to get hotter and emit heat that can harm a baby’s skin. 
  • Lastly, if you use those rough and tough tactical flashlights with sharp edges, it’s recommended to keep them away from the child’s range. It is because the sharp edges can hurt your child’s soft skin. Also, babies are so curious that whatever they find, they put it in their mouth, which can cause injury inside the baby’s mouth. 

So, these are the things you should consider when having and using a flashlight around a baby.

What if the Flashlight’s Light Already Hurts Baby’s Eyes?

A human touching a Baby's hurt Eyes

Now, what if the flashlight’s bright light already hurt your baby’s eyes? Well, if you see any sort of discomfort in your baby or the baby is crying, then there are a few actions you should immediately take. 

  1. Move the light away or reduce the intensity of the flashlight. 
  2. Take your baby to a slightly darker place and ensure significantly less light enters their eyes. 
  3. After a few moments, gently wash your baby’s eye with lukewarm water and a transparent cloth. It will give instant relaxation.

Even after doing all these, if the baby still faces discomfort around light or keeps crying, it’s highly recommended to consult a doctor as soon as possible. 

Final Words 

Baby eyes are weaker and less capable than ours. That’s why it’s highly recommended to be cautious when using flashlights around a baby. 

Although, indeed, low powered flashlight or your phone’s flash won’t impact your baby’s eyes.

But it’s always better to be aware. And, if your baby already got hurt by a powerful flashlight’s light and, after hours, s/he still faces discomfort, it’s high time you should consult a pediatric ophthalmologist.


No, there is no need to be concerned if your baby was exposed to a flashlight for a short period. However, if your baby seems uncomfortable, you can rinse their eyes with lukewarm water and a clean cloth.

Yes, it is recommended to hold a flashlight at least three feet (36 inches) away from a baby to minimize the risk of exposing them to too much light, even if the flashlight is not powerful.

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Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

1 thought on “Can a Flashlight Hurt Baby’s Eyes? What Parents Need to Know”

  1. Hi there, Everyone,
    Please get the message out there!!! Please warn young parents not to allow their phone torch to damage their babies eyes!!!! This happens too often!!! Please have better teaching out there for health and hygiene too!!! Please!!!!


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