Babies at Elevated Risk for Chemical Burns to Their Eyes

Babies at Elevated Risk for Chemical Burns to Their Eyes

Children under the age of two have been found to be at a high risk for chemical burns to their eyes, with household chemicals being the most common cause of the injuries. These findings have been published this week in JAMA Ophthalmology.

The basis of the study was the number of babies seen in hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. and the reason why.

Leading the study was Dr. R. Sterling Haring, from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. He and his research team found that household cleaners in spray bottles are the primary culprit in these injuries. Common secondary factors of these injuries are that they usually occur at home, and are more common among low-income families.

The data used in the study included more than 144,000 emergency room visits across 900 different hospitals, all between the years 2010 and 2013.

Adults are also at risk of these injuries. When accounting for likelihood of injury based on a person’s age, twenty-four year old adults are the most frequently injured, when compared only to other adults. When comparing against all ages, babies between one and two years old are fifty percent more likely to sustain a chemical eye injury than even the most at risk adults.

The chemicals most likely to cause these injuries include oven cleaners, drain cleaners, chlorine bleach and ammonia products.

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