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Computers Causing Injuries in the Home
Date:6/9/2009

injury data collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Over a 13-year period, about 78,000 people sustained computer-related injuries.

The annual rate peaked in about 2003, when about 10,000 were injured by computers. The number has since dropped off, possibly because lighter, LCD screens have become more prevalent.

For all ages, the most common acute computer-related injuries were lacerations (39 percent) and contusions and abrasions (23 percent).

Computers aren't the only dangerous items in the home. A recent study also by Nationwide Children's Hospital found about 15,000 children a year are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries caused by furniture tipping.

And since the early 1990s, the number of children injured by falling TVs, shelves and dressers has risen 41 percent.

Recently, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter was accidentally strangled by a treadmill cord.

As much as possible, parents need to supervise their children, said Chrissy Cianflone, director of program operations for Safe Kids USA. Make rooms such as home offices and home gyms off limits.

"We know you can't watch your child 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Cianflone said. "But don't have them playing in the home office or the exercise equipment. Have them playing in a safe room that is baby-proofed."

Of the kids injured by computer equipment, 53 percent of those under age 5 and 41 percent of those aged 5 to 9 were hurt while playing near or climbing on computer equipment, the study showed.

To specifically minimize risk with computers, the machines should be kept on a wide, sturdy work surface that is away from walk areas, according to background information on the study. Organize and secure cords, keep the work space tidy and install safety covers on unused electrical outlets. And anchor hea
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