Q: This 21-year long study (U.S) between 1990 and 2010 said an estimated 263,000 patients under 18 were treated in emergency departments for this. What is it? (U.S Study)
A: Injuries from sticking a cotton swab in their ear.
In that 21-year period, an estimated 263,000 patients under age 18 were treated in emergency departments for complaints like ear blockage, pain, and bleeding—more than 1,000 a month, or about 34 a day. Most of these injuries—77%—occurred while children used cotton-tip applicators themselves. Parental and sibling use accounted for 16% and 6% of injuries, respectively. Overall, 73% of the injuries occurred during ear cleaning; other causes included children playing with the swabs or falling down while a swab was in their ear. Source
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