Purpose: To present data on chemical ocular burns in children seen at a single tertiary care facility resulting from accidental eye exposure to the contents of laundry detergent pods.
Methods: All emergent pediatric ophthalmology consultations specific for chemical ocular burns at a level I trauma center were included as part of a prospective quality improvement investigation over a 13-month period. Age, causative agent, and examination findings at presentation and final follow-up were recorded and analyzed.
Results: A total of 12 children with chemical ocular burns were seen during the study period. All patients were ≤5 years of age. Most chemical ocular burn consultations (n = 8) were specific to ocular exposure of laundry detergent pod contents; the remainder were associated with conventional cleaning agents or pesticides (n = 4). There was a significant association between laundry detergent pod as causative agent and a patient age of 2-5 years, compared to <2 years and any other agent (P = 0.018 [Fisher exact test]).
Conclusions: In our study, laundry detergent pods were the most frequent cause of chemical ocular burns in children. Additionally, preschoolers may be at a higher risk of sustaining these injuries. Increased public awareness, product safety improvements, and/or regulation may be advisable to decrease the ocular hazards associated with laundry detergent pods.
Copyright © 2018 American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.