June 9, 2009

Children At Highest Risk of Computer-Related Injuries

A new study has revealed an increased risk of computer-related injuries among U.S. households.

The 13-year study showed that the injury rate of 732 percent more than doubled the rate of computer ownership among households.

Researchers analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System between 1994 and 2006. The data revealed more than 78,000 "acute computer-related injuries" during the observational period.

Injuries included large numbers of head injuries from falling computer monitors. Young children were among those at the highest risk, researchers said in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Injuries caused by falling computer monitors rose from 11.6 percent of cases in 1994 to 37.1 percent in 2003. The figure had fallen to 25.1 percent by 2006. Researchers attributed the decrease to the replacement of heavier monitors with slimmer, lighter ones.

BBC News cited information from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) showing that one-third of accidents in 2002 involved a child under the age of 15.

"Future research on acute computer-related injuries is needed as this ubiquitous product becomes more intertwined in our everyday lives," said lead researcher Dr Lara McKenzie of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Injury Research and Policy in Columbus.

"Given the large increase in acute computer-related injuries over the study period, greater efforts are needed to prevent such injuries, especially among young children."

The study also found that while children under the age of 5 were at the highest risk, those under 10, and seniors over the age of 60, were also at an increased risk of computer-related injuries.


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American Journal of Preventive Medicine