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Nitasha Khanna, Taygan Yilmaz, Melissa Simon, Michael E Migliori; Epidemiology of Pediatric Chemical-related Eye Injuries Treated in US Emergency Departments (2000-2017). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):3136.
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To analyze trends and risk factors related to chemical-related eye injuries in the pediatric population between 2000-2017 in order to identify and minimize these incidents.
We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study utilizing the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) to determine the relative incidence rates of chemical eye injuries among patients aged 0-17 from 2000 to 2017. NEISS collects data from approximately 100 hospital emergency departments selected as a probability sample of the more than 5,000 hospital emergency departments within the United States. We analyzed patient demographics, product types involved in each injury, symptoms/diagnoses, setting and season during which the injury occurred, and disposition. The final search was conducted on November 10, 2018.
Of the 2,397 injuries recorded, the agents most frequently implicated were: laundry soaps/detergents (16%), of which 60% were detergent pods; non-cosmetic bleaches (12%), swimming pool chemicals (11%), and household cleaners (9%). The most common clinical presentation was conjunctivitis (28%). Injuries occurred most frequently during the summer months (35%) and primarily in the home setting (54%). The age group most frequently represented was children between the ages of 1-4 years old (46%). Fifty-five percent of injuries were sustained by boys and 39% occurred in Caucasians.
Chemical injuries cause a significant number of ocular injuries in children, many of which require emergency medical attention. Exposure to common household chemicals in everyday settings accounts for a large proportion of these injuries. Prevention efforts should begin with educating parents about the potential dangers of many household items and providing guidance regarding safe storage of these agents out of children’s reach. Eye protection may also play a role in public environments, such as the pool, in preventing these injuries.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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