Snopes lists it as unproven.
The Daily Mail pointed to the unreliable People’s Daily Online as the
source of this information, who in turn sourced their story from
Guangming Daily, who sourced their reporting from QQ.com, who cited
DAHE.com, who got their information from Henan TV. At no point in this
game of misinformation telephone did any of these sources provide
specific details about the story, such as where the incident occurred,
the names of the parents, the identities of the “experts” quoted, or
the name of the hospital where the baby was treated.
Furthermore, none of the articles linked above provided any evidence
(such as a quote from an ophthalmologist or other knowledgeable
medical source) indicating that the baby’s alleged blindness was
caused by a camera flash.
In fact, several reputable sources have stated that a camera flash is
not harmful to a baby’s eyes. The Orange Regional Medical Center, for
instance, encourages new parents to take photographs of their babies
in the NICU:
Scary stuff, for sure, but highly unlikely, according to Dr. Alex
Levin, chief of pediatric ophthalmology and ocular genetics at Wills
Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. “If this story were true, there would be
lots of blind babies out there,” the ophthalmologist tells Yahoo
Parenting, calling the events detailed “inconceivable.”
“We operate on young babies and shine a very bright light directly on
the most sensitive parts of their eyes for up to 30 minutes at a time,
and even that doesn’t cause blindness,” says Levin. “Retinas are made
to last, and it’s highly unlikely that this kind of light would cause
It’s more likely, the doctor surmises, that the infant was already
blind in that eye and physicians discovered his condition when they
examined him. “To attribute the blindness to the taking of a
photograph would be incorrect,” Levin insists. “There’s no way that a
camera can cause such damage.” Flashes are diffused light, he
explains, “so they’re harmless.”
The same rule applies to flashlights and even super-bright sunlight.
Staring directly at the sun, on the other hand, isn’t a good idea as
far as protecting your vision, “but babies won’t intentionally fix
their gaze on the sun anyway,” he says.
Checking the credentials listed on yahoo news:
Dr. Alex Levin
"Speciality: Pediatric Ophthalmology & Ocular Genetics"
"Director, Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus Service"