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X-Rays Show Children Injured by Holiday Ornaments

December 22, 2009
Written by: , Filed in: Emergency Radiology, Pediatric Radiology
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Glass holiday decorations pose more of a safety risk than some parents might think, a new study says. A review of records from Children’s Hospital Boston found injuries in young children (median age: two years) involve eating glass fragments and even batteries. Out of 76 cases dating from 1995 through 2008, researchers found:

  • More than half of the injuries involved swallowing or putting fragments of ornaments or light bulbs into the mouth
  • Injuries included lacerations, eye injuries, and minor electrical shocks
  • Imaging was performed in 85 percent of the cases. According to the National Cancer Institute,  X-rays and CT scans are generally discouraged on young children unless absolutely necessary, since children can be more sensitive to radiation than adults,

Researchers advise doctors to warn parents about the dangers of placing glass ornaments and lights within a toddler’s reach. The study was published in the December issue of Pediatric Emergency Care.

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