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Computer-Related Injuries On the Rise

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, July 08, 2009 4:50 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Protecting Your Family, Computers, Carpal Tunnel, Computer Related Injuries, Neck Pain


IMAGE SOURCE: iStockPhoto / neck pain / author: Martinan

Computer users face a host of risks such as back and neck pain, carpal tunnel, blurry vision and headaches. But, according to a new study, a growing number of folks are landing in the emergency room due to acute injuries related to computers and computer accessories.

More than 90 percent of computer-related injuries occured at home. Injuries surged from 1,267 in 1994 to more than 9,000 in 2006, according to the study published in the July issue of The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).

The data comes from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which is managed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

The 13-year study involved 78,000 people ages 1 month to 89 years who were treated in emergency rooms for acute computer-related injuries.

The most common injuries were lacerations, especially in younger children and often head injuries. Second most common were abrasions and contusions.

“Children younger than five had the highest injury rate of all age groups. The most common cause of injury was tripping or falling,” said Lara B. McKenzie, PhD, of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio, which conducted the study. “Wires can pose tripping and electrical hazards, computer cases have sharp edges and computer chairs are too big for small children - all of which create opportunities for falls.”

Mike Bryant, InjuryBoard’s St. Cloud partner, shares some helpful advice for avoiding computer-related injuries:

“In this business, we see a lot of people injured in a lot of different ways. But, this study suggests that as we sit at our computers, we need to make sure what we do around the computer is done carefully.”

? Think about where cords are.

? Don't lift it without using your legs or getting help

? Watch out how safely balanced the computer is

? Always watch out around electricity

? Keep computer equipment away from the edges of desks.

? Supervise kids when they're using the computer. #

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