Low Standards on Glass Tables Cause Serious Injuries

Article Courtesy of the Boston Channel

Researchers at Children’s Hospital are warning that lax standards on the strength of glass tables may contribute to thousands of children being seriously injured each year by broken glass.

A new study conducted by the hospital concluded that nearly half of the 174 children treated at the Children’s for serious injuries from a glass table would have escaped injury or suffered less severe wounds if the tables had been manufactured with stronger glass.

Researchers used a computer algorithm to analyze all cases reported to the hospital between 1995 and 2007 and found that the injuries most frequently occurred when children jumped, sat or fell on glass tables or knocked them over. About two thirds of the injuries were suffered by boys, and patients had a median age of 3.4 years, the study also found.

Cuts to the face were the most common wound, particularly in little children, followed by lacerations to the feet, legs, hands and arms. About 40 percent of patients needed imaging to find pieces of glass buried in their bodies, and 80 percent needed surgery to treat their wounds, the study found.

“Huge shards of glass are basically like knives,” said Amir Kimia, MD, who led the study. “If they sever an artery, they can cause uncontrolled bleeding, and the injury can be fatal.”