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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2013 Mar;251(3):629-36. doi: 10.1007/s00417-011-1917-0. Epub 2012 Jan 14.

Pediatric eye injuries presenting to United States emergency departments: 2001-2007.

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Division of Ophthalmology, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.



The epidemiology of pediatric eye injuries is not well-documented. This study describes the characteristics of non-fatal eye injuries in pediatric patients (<18 years of age) presenting to United States (US) emergency departments (EDs).


Retrospective cohort study utilizing the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) from 2001 to 2007 to perform a descriptive analysis of eye injury case information for patients <18 years of age, including demographic variables, locales, diagnoses, causes, and hospital disposition.


In 2001-2007, an estimated 1,048,500 (95% confidence interval [CI] 878,198-1,218,801) ED visits for eye injury occurred among children less than 18 years of age, representing a rate of 14.31 per 1,000 children. Males accounted for 61.75% (CI 541,971-752,839) of visits. The rate of eye injury was highest in the 15-17 year old age group (18.74 per 1,000 children; CI 199,224-267,132). The most common diagnosis was contusion/abrasion (53.68%; CI 468,035-657,638). The most frequent cause of eye injury was being struck by or against an object (56.63%; CI 491,760-695,758). The majority of injuries occurred at home (65.84%; CI 382,443-588,416) and took place during the spring and summer (39.26%; CI 343,535-479,888).


This study suggests that the risk for pediatric eye injuries is highest for adolescents 15-17 years of age and at home. Further research is needed to determine risk and protective factors associated with injuries in this age group and location to design appropriate prevention strategies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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