Warning: Children eat glass ornaments

Dec. 17, 2009 at 1:04 AM
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BOSTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Holiday decorations -- particularly glass ornaments -- are one more safety hazard parents must consider during the season, a U.S. physician says.

Study co-author Dr. Lois Lee of Children's Hospital Boston's Division of Emergency Medicine reviewed records from the Children's Emergency Department and found an average of five ornament-related injuries per year. More than half of the injuries involve a child eating fragments of ornaments, including batteries and pieces of glass, Lee said.

"Parents need to be vigilant during the holiday season, even though it's also a busy time of year," Lee said in a statement. "If you know that your child has a tendency to put things in his or her mouth, you should be especially careful."

The study, published in the journal Pediatric Emergency Care, found out of a total of 76 cases from October 1995 to March 2008:

-- 56 percent involved ingestion or taking fragments of ornaments or light bulbs into the mouth; more than a quarter of these injuries resulted in bleeding of the mouth or gastrointestinal tract.

-- 27 percent of cases involved lacerations; more than two-thirds of lacerations required surgical repair.

-- 85 percent of cases required radiological screening.

-- Three patients were examined for potential toxin exposure.

-- Two patients experienced minor electrocution.

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