Blogger (and blog-reader) parents should find this little stat important – computer-related injuries are on the rise, and those injuries are disproportionately happening to kids under the age of 5.
Every year, 9,300 people in the United States suffer a computer related injury sufficient to send them to the emergency room. We’re not talking carpal tunnel and eyestrain here, we’re talking things like cuts, bruises, torn muscles and the like.
Adults most commonly get hurt when moving the computer from one area to another, anything from getting entangled in cords to cutting themselves on sharp edges. Children most often hurt themselves by climbing on or playing near computer equipment.
In the study of more than 100 hospital emergency rooms from 1994 to 2006, children under age 5 suffered the highest overall injury rates, as well as the highest increase in injuries of any age group, with 13.4 percent.
Most injuries to little kids, 76 percent, were head injuries, five times the figure for adults. For older kids ages 5 to 9, that figure was 62 percent.
Of course, a major reason for the increase in computer injuries was because more people had computers; ownership increased 300 percent during the period studied. However, injuries still rose faster, growing 732 percent from 1994 to 2006.
Interestingly, injuries started to level off about the time thinner monitors (and, I would bet, laptop and netbook use) became more common. Still, I wouldn’t want to drop my 5 lb. iBook on my foot, and really not on my kid.
Doctors recommend making sure computers are secured just like you would TVs. And in my house there is a hard and fast rule that kids are not allowed to touch the computer – but that’s more because I make my living and my husbands supplements his income by freelancing and it’s a major blow if a machine is out of commission.
Have you had any computer related injuries in your house? So far, ours have been more likely to send the computer to the emergency room (aka “Genius Bar”) than any humans big or small. Do you take any safety precautions?