Kids and Chemical Eye Burns

Chemical eye burn risk was highest in young children

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Anyssa Garza, PharmD

(RxWiki News) Adults aren't the only ones who have to watch out for chemical eye burns. In fact, these burns may occur more often in young children, according to a new study.

This new study, led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers, found that the risk for chemical eye burns was the highest in 1- and 2-year-old children.

This finding goes against the common wisdom that adults who work in factories or businesses where dangerous chemicals are in use face the highest risk for chemical eye burns. 

This study is among the first to suggest that young children face the greatest risk for chemical eye burns, which are potentially permanent injuries. The researchers behind this study said young children can often easily get into chemicals like household cleaners, which can cause these chemical burns. 

Lead study author Dr. R. Sterling Haring said these injuries are preventable. He recommended keeping household cleaners, as well as other potentially harmful products typically found in spray form, out of the reach of children. Installing child safety locks may help a great deal, he said.  

The research team looked at four years of data from emergency department visits and identified those visits that were the result of chemical eye burns. 

Chemical eye burns can happen at any age, but several age groups appear to face a higher risk. Twenty-four-year-olds had the highest rate of these injuries among the adult population. 

If chemicals get in the eye, immediately flush the eye out with water. This can be done by running tap water over the eye for several minutes. Seek medical attention.

This study was recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology.

Information on funding sources and conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
August 5, 2016
Last Updated:
August 13, 2016