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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