A baby was reportedly left permanently blinded after a family friend forgot to turn off their camera's flash while taking a photo.
The 3-month-old baby, who has not been identified, has irreparable damage to his eyes after a camera flashed from about 10 inches away, according to the Daily Mail.
Shortly after the flash photo was taken, the infant's parents noticed something was not right with their son's vision.
Following an examination, the parents were informed the damage is likely permanent and cannot be fixed with surgery.
The infant reportedly has reduced vision in his left eye and blindness in his right eye due to the camera's flash.
The light may have damaged cells on the macula, which is the part of the eye in which light rays are focused. A damaged macula can lead to the loss of central vision. The macula does not fully develop until children are around 4 years old. Babies and young children are extremely sensitive to bright light.
The story about the boy in China also came with advice from one of the country's news outlets, People's Daily Online, for parents to avoid using bright light in a bathroom while bathing an infant, reported the Daily Mail.
While babies will shut their eyes when exposed to bright light, exposure to a strong light source for just milliseconds could potentially cause permanent damage, the Chinese media outlet cautioned.
Doctors in the U.S. have different advice for parents, and one eye specialist questioned the authenticity of the news from China.
Ophthalmologist Jeffrey Levenson, who did not treat the child, spoke to WFMY about the claims.
"It's clear that flash cameras don't damage babies' eyes," Levenson said. "If they did we'd have an entire generation of blind babies, and of course, we don't. So, flash cameras are perfectly safe for babies."
Concerns still surrounded the issue, and some wondered if LED lighting, which is becoming more common, may be capable of causing damage to children's eyes.
"Incandescent light, which of course Thomas Edison developed 150 years ago, is going away and LED is replacing it," Levenson said. "I’m not aware of any medical evidence to indicate that that poses any risk to anybody."
Levenson did say that children raised today who do not go outside as often may be prone to certain vision problems.
"Turns out that kids who get outdoors often are much less likely to become near-sighted than people who spend a lot of time indoors in room lighting, doing close things -- they’re much more likely to be near-sighted," he said.