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A Common Cause of Injury to Children and Minors: Aerosols?

According to a new study out of Brown University, aerosols are a leading cause of eye injuries for children and minors. In fact, the study found that half of children’s emergency room visits between 1997 and 2009 were related to this type of injury. Researchers concluded that more can be done to help prevent this type of eye injury from affecting children.

Researchers found that young children (up to age 4) were most likely to be admitted to the hospital for eye injuries caused by aerosol cans, but all age groups – up to 18 years of age – were represented in the 10,765 patients admitted to emergency rooms for this type of injury. Authors of the study agree that the total number of incidents of pediatric eye injuries can be much higher, as the study only considered those cases serious enough to merit an emergency room visit.
In over 70% of cases, children sustained the injury at home, usually by spraying themselves accidentally. In a smaller portion of cases, children sustained injury when cans burst or hit the patient in the eye. Male children were more likely to sustain this type of injury, accounting for 63% of all emergency room visits for pediatric eye injuries caused by aerosol sprays.

For Florida parents and for all parents, researchers agree that this is a serious concern as most of these injuries are highly preventable and also cause serious eye damage and trauma for the child. Many of the emergency room visits included treatment for chemical burns, bruising of the eye, trauma to the eye, and serious irritation to the affected area. The study found that in most cases, the most common aerosols involved was spray paint, followed by personal care products, cleaning products, and bug repellant. So far, the researchers know of no Florida product liability cases or national product liability cases launched as a result of these injuries.

According to the study’s authors, there are several things that parents can do to help prevent this type of childhood injury:

1) Keep products out of reach of children. The study’s authors note that the products sold in aerosols cans may smell good or may be packaged in a bright color that is appealing to children. For this reason, storing aerosol cans carefully is important.

2) Ensure that cans are sold with better labeling. Better labeling – perhaps with clearer warnings to parents about eye safety – could help. The researchers also recommended that spray products be sold together with goggles.

3) Better awareness. The study authors felt that pediatricians can help by stressing eye safety and by warning parents about spray product storage.

If your child has been injured by a commercial product, contact the Flaxman Law Group. During a free consultation, our caring and experienced staff can offer advice as well as apprise you of your rights and options. Our law offices in Hollywood, Homestead, and Miami are open to help. Or, we can visit you in your home, hospital room, or workplace to discuss your case.