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Computer-Related Injuries to Minors and Children Are a Concern in Today’s Home Office World

Today, virtually every home has a computer or home office. Many children and minors spend considerable time on the home computer, studying, playing games, and chatting with friends. While in recent years parents have become more savvy about the threat of online predators, many parents are not aware of the personal injuries that can result from computers.

Computers are not just a means of communication. There are also physical objects that can produce muscle injuries, bruises, joint injuries, lacerations, and other personal injuries among children and adults. Because the children and minors tend to spend especially long periods of time on the computer, they are especially susceptible to repetitive stress injuries and other personal injuries related to the computer.

Teens are at risk of developing blurred vision, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome if the spend many hours working at a computer for homework or for play. Teens will sometimes spend hours online or on the computer, without shifting position and without becoming aware that they are at risk of an injury. To prevent this, it is important to provide an ergonomically correct workstation for teens, and to encourage teens to get up and walk around the room every hour or so while they are on the computer.

In addition to the physical risks that teens face, younger children face physical risks from computers — even if they don’t use them. Small children and toddlers can inadvertently pull a laptop or a desktop computer off of the computer table and onto their heads, causing brain injury. Carefully attaching a computer or laptop to the computer workstation or desk helps prevent such accidental injuries. Also, keeping the office door locked when young children are around is a good idea.

Adults and children alike can trip or fall over computer equipment. It is important to keep wires and cords well out of the way. The newer wireless networks are especially handy for avoiding trip and fall accidents caused by wiring. However, if this is not feasible, simply gathering the wiring from a computer, binding it together, and binding it to a desk leg can help keep the wires off the floor and out of the way. Also, it is a good idea to keep computer parts, books, and accessories and equipment off the floor. Have a large enough workspace so that you can keep all computer-related items on a desk, and not on the floor where they can cause a tripping hazard.

In addition to trips, head injuries, and repetitive stress injuries, computers can also cause bruises and lacerations when people bump into them. Is easy to crash into a computer desk or computer, causing bruises and injuries. To prevent this, make sure that you have plenty of space around the computer station to walk around, and to exit the computer area safely. If you have a small home, look for space-saver workstations that can save you space and make your computer workstation safer as well.