June 12, 2009

Increase in computer-related injuries

Computer-related injuries needing emergency room attention in the United States rose more than seven-fold in 12 years, researchers in Ohio said.

Between 1994 and 2006, 78,703 people were treated for acute injuries, many of them caused by tripping over computer cables or lifting monitors, the Ohio State University researchers said.

Children age 5 and under accounted for 43.4 percent of the accidents, which often occurred while playing near computer equipment, the researchers said, noting most of the injuries were cuts and scrapes.

Injuries from monitors rose from 11.6 percent in 1994 to 37.1 percent in 2003 and fell to 25.1 percent by 2006 as lighter LCD monitors began to replace cathode ray tubes, the study found.

The researchers analyzed data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, the university said in a release Thursday.