Ocular injuries by elastic cords in children.

S. Da Pozzo, S. Pensiero, P. Perissutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Elastic cords hitting the eyeball as high-speed projectiles can severely damage ocular structures and can produce permanent visual function impairment. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the frequency, mechanics, and severity of eye injuries caused by elastic cords in children to adopt the most appropriate preventive measures. METHODS: A retrospective medical records review of hospital admissions secondary to ocular trauma between 1991 and 1997 in a pediatric ophthalmology unit at an urban tertiary care pediatric hospital was performed to select all children admitted for ocular injury caused by an elastic cord. RESULTS: Eight children fulfilled the inclusion criteria; the prevalence ratio was 2% of all pediatric trauma admissions. In all cases the mechanics of trauma was a combination of blunt and high-speed projectile injury. The mechanism of trauma in younger patients was typically a cord that was misused during unsupervised playtime, whereas cord slipping from car roof racks was noted in older patients. One patient suffered a severe permanent visual impairment caused by retinal detachment. All other children regained full visual acuity at the time of discharge and maintained it through a mean follow-up of 22 months (range: 18-29). CONCLUSION: Circumstances of injury in younger children are different from those found in older children, the latter being similar to those reported for adults. Prevention is the primary measure to be taken to reduce the prevalence of this injury and to lower the risk for ocular severe anatomic damage as much as possible. This can be achieved primarily by modifying the design of the hooks, intensifying educational campaigns, and keeping elastic cords out of children's reach.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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