Today’s Vision Sugar Land wants you to know that new research indicates that children ages one and two are at the highest risk for chemical eye burns, despite commonly-held beliefs that working-age adults are at highest risk.
This study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, is the first to show that toddlers are at highest risk.
Researchers analyzed four years of data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample and found that factories and other businesses employing the use of chemicals have safety precautions in place, but such measures are not necessarily at the forefront in homes where improperly stored household cleaners and other chemicals put young children at risk.
While 24-year-olds were at highest risk for chemical eye burns among adults, one-year-olds were twice as likely to suffer eye burns. The risk drops off significantly once children were old enough to understand the dangers associated with household products.
Because chemical burns continue to damage the eye even after contact, this type of eye injury potentially results in irreparable damage to internal structures. The most common of these injuries, according to the researchers, results from alkaline agents, rather than from acids. Further, burns stemming from alkaline agents tend to be more dangerous because these agents continue to cause injury the longer they stay on the eye.
Alkaline household products include bleach, toothpaste, baking powder, cream cleaner, oven cleaner, and metal polish.
Researchers said that public education regarding avoidable and serious eye injury is needed. Reducing these injuries in youngsters is as simple as keeping household cleaners and other chemicals out of reach.