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131 Consumer product-related pediatric eye injuries in United States emergency departments, 1997–2019
  1. Tiffany Chen1,2,
  2. Sandhya Kistamgari1,
  3. Gary Smith1,3
  1. 1Center for Injury Research and Policy in The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, USA
  2. 2New Jersey Medical School, Newark, USA
  3. 3The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, USA


Statement of Purpose This study investigates characteristics and trends of children <18 years old treated in United States emergency departments for consumer product-related eye injuries.

Methods/Approach Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System for January 1, 1997 through December 31, 2019 were analyzed.

Results During the 22-year study period, there were an estimated 1,453,283 children treated for consumer product-related eye injuries. Almost two-thirds (64.5%) were boys and 32.1% were <5 years old. Overall, 2.6% of patients were admitted to the hospital; however, 3.6% of 10–14-year-olds and 18.8% of children with non-powder firearm-related eye injuries were admitted. Eye injuries were most commonly associated with sports or recreational activities (22.2%) and chemicals (20.0%). Eye injury rate trends generally demonstrated increases early in the study period, followed by non-statistically significant variations from the mid-2000s to 2019, with two exceptions. The rate of eye injuries related to non-powder firearms increased significantly from 1997 to 2006 (p<0.001) and then decreased significantly from 2006 to 2019 (p<0.001). The rate of eye injuries related to desk supplies increased significantly from 1997 to 2001 (p<0.001), did not change significantly from 2001–2009 (p=0.148, and decreased significantly from 2009–2019 (p=0.011).

Conclusions Although rates of eye injury associated with some consumer products, such as non-powder firearms, have decreased in more recent years, consumer products remain a common source of eye injury among children. Increased prevention efforts are needed to reduce these injuries.

Significance This study provides a comprehensive analysis of consumer product-related eye injuries among children over a 22-year period using a nationally-representative database. It updates our understanding of this important source of pediatric eye injury and provides a discussion of prevention strategies.

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