Pattern of Eye Injuries in Children in Benin City, Nigeria
Background: Ocular trauma is a leading cause of visual loss and blindness and though it affects all age groups, it remains a very important cause of monocular blindness amongst children
Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the pattern, causes and visual outcome of ocular injuries among children aged 15 years and below.
Methodology: A 3-year retrospective study was carried out in the Eye Department of University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria from January 2009 to December 2011. The information retrieved included age, gender, type of injury, cause of injury, location where injury occurred, eye involved, time of presentation at the hospital following injury, presenting visual acuity and visual outcome after treatment.
Results: Fifty-four children made up of 64.8% males, with a male:female ratio of 1.84:1,were managed for eye injuries. Majority of the eye injuries were lacerations (50%). Sharp objects were responsible for 53.7%, followed by blunt objects 31.5%. Injury in the home constituted 72.2% of all injuries, while those sustained in school were 22.2% and the left eye was more affected (57.4%). Seventy-four percent (74%) presented within one week of eye injury, with 37% presenting within the first day. There was vision in 98.1% of the children prior to occurrence of injury, but visual outcome was good in only 9.3% after 6months of treatment.
Conclusion: Most of the accidents in this study occurred at home. There is a need to supervise children as much as it is possible when playing at home. It is also important to educate parents and caregivers on the likely risk of injury that could occur at home and how to prevent it.
Keywords: Accident, domestic, injuries, ocular, playing