Purpose: Pediatric ocular trauma is an important cause of visual morbidity worldwide, accounting for up to one-third of all ocular trauma admissions. It has long-term implications for those affected and significant economic consequences for healthcare providers. It has been estimated that 90% of all ocular trauma is preventable. Targeted strategies are required to reduce the incidence and the severity of pediatric ocular trauma; this requires an understanding of the epidemiology and characteristics of these injuries and the children involved.
Methods: Prospective, observational study of pediatric ocular trauma cases presenting to UK-based ophthalmologists over a 1-year period; reporting cards were distributed by the British Ophthalmological Surveillance Unit, and clinicians were asked to report incidents of acute orbital and ocular trauma in children aged ≤16 years requiring inpatient or day-case admission. A validated, standardized questionnaire was sent to reporting ophthalmologists to collect data on the demographics and circumstances of injury.
Results: Median age at presentation was 7.7 years, with boys more than twice as likely to be affected than girls (M:F =2.1:1.0). Almost 50% of injuries occurred at home, with 25% occurring in school or nursery. A total of 67% of injuries occurred during play, and 31% involved a sharp implement.
Conclusion: Pediatric ocular trauma remains an important public health problem. At least three-quarters of all injuries are preventable through measures, including education of children and responsible adults, restricting access to sharp implements, improving adult supervision, and appropriate use of eye protection.
- Childhood eye injury
- Penetrating eye injury
- Perforating eye injury