Computer-related Injuries Increasing, Kids Particularly at Risk


Washington, Jun 9: Computer-users need to be more careful -- the number of severe injuries associated with computers is on the rise, according to a recent study.

Researchers have found a seven-fold increase in computer-related injuries. These include head injuries due to computer monitor falls, tripping over computer equipment and other physical incidents.

According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database, over 78,000 cases of acute computer-related injuries were treated in the U.S. emergency departments between 1994 and 2006.

About 93 percent of injuries occurred at home, according to researchers at the Centre for Injury Research and Policy and The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital; and The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Injury mechanisms included hitting against computer equipment; tripping or falling over computer equipment; computer equipment falling on top of the user; and muscle and joint strains. The monitor was the computer part most associated with injuries.

Children below five years had the highest injury rate of all age groups. The most common cause of injury for those below five years was tripping or falling. Children below ten years most often had injuries to the head.

Lara McKenzie from Nationwide Children's Hospital Centre for Injury Research and Policy said: "Future research on acute computer-related injuries is needed as this ubiquitous product becomes more intertwined in our everyday lives. 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."


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