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Children’s eyes and sports injuries

New study highlights sports and recreational injuries in children

Colin Kerr

Posted: Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Increased efforts are needed to prevent the incidence of sports and recreational injuries in children, according to the authors of a new study.

The authors recommend that increased child, parent, and coach education, as well as adoption of rules that mandate the use of eye protective equipment, should be undertaken.

From 1990 through to 2012, an estimated 441,800 children were treated in US emergency departments for sports- and recreation-related eye injuries, averaging 26.9 injuries per 100,000 children. Children 10-to-14 and 15-to-17 years old had the highest rate of eye injury. Three-quarters of injuries were sustained by boys, according to an article in Pediatrics.

Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System were analysed in a retrospective study of children under 17 years of age treated in US emergency departments for sports- and recreation-related eye injuries from 1990 to 2012.

The most common types of injury were corneal abrasion (27.1%), conjunctivitis (10.0%) and foreign body in the eye (8.5%). Most eye injuries were treated and released (94.6%), while 4.7% were hospitalised.

The most common sports and recreation activities and equipment associated with eye injury were basketball (15.9%), baseball and softball (15.2%) and non-powder guns (10.6%).


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