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

  • Grayson W. Armstrong
  • Julia G. Kim
  • James G. Linakis
  • Michael J. Mello
  • Paul B. Greenberg



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.


Pediatrics Children Eye injury Emergency department 


Conflict of Interest

No authors have any financial/conflicting interests to disclose.


The authors have control of all primary data and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis as well as the decision to submit for publication. The authors have agreed to allow Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology to review this data upon request.


The views expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag (outside the USA) 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grayson W. Armstrong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Julia G. Kim
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • James G. Linakis
    • 3
    • 4
  • Michael J. Mello
    • 4
    • 5
  • Paul B. Greenberg
    • 1
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Division of OphthalmologyWarren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  2. 2.Division of OphthalmologyRhode Island HospitalProvidenceUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsWarren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  4. 4.Department of Emergency MedicineWarren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  5. 5.Department of Community HealthWarren Alpert Medical School of Brown UniversityProvidenceUSA
  6. 6.Section of Ophthalmology, VA Medical CenterProvidenceUSA

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