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Eye injuries from BB guns rise

An increasing number of children sustained ocular injuries from non-powder firearms, including BB, pellet, airsoft and paintball guns

05 Dec 2019 by Selina Powell

New US research has highlighted a rise in the number of children who sustained eye injuries from non-powder firearms.

The study, which was published in Pediatrics, highlighted that while the total number of childhood injuries from BB, pellet, airsoft and paintball guns fell between 1990 and 2016, the number of eye injuries from the weapons increased.

BB guns were responsible for eight out of 10 injuries caused by non-powder guns, followed by pellet and paintball guns.

Over the study period, a total of 364,133 patients younger than 18 were treated for injuries related to non-powder firearms, with 15% of injuries ocular in nature.

The number of eye injuries increased by 50% between 1990 and 2016.

Corneal abrasion was the most common eye injury caused by non-powder guns, accounting for 35% of ocular injury, followed by hyphema (13%), globe rupture (10%) and foreign body (9%).

The authors emphasised that the severity and increasing rate of eye injuries from non-powder guns is “concerning.”

“Increased prevention efforts are needed in the form of stricter and more consistent safety legislation at the state level, as well as child and parental education regarding proper supervision, firearm handling, and use of protective eyewear,” they shared.

Image credit: Pixabay/gjbmiller

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