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Corporal punishment-related ocular injuries in Nigerian children

Author(s): Oluwakemi Adegbehingbe | Kayode Ajite

Journal: Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
ISSN 0971-9261

Volume: 12;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 76;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Blindness | corporal punishment | ocular injuries

Objective: To determine the contribution of corporal punishment to ocular morbidity and visual impairment in Nigerian children. Materials and Methods: A prospective study was conducted of all patients aged 0-15 years seen with ocular injuries over a four year period. Those who sustained ocular injuries during the administration of corporal punishment were further studied. Relevant information was documented using a semistructured questionnaire. Data was analyzed by simple descriptive statistics using SPSS statistical package version 10. Results: A total of 186 children were seen within the study period. Eighty-nine (47.8%) had ocular injuries and 27 (30.3%) had ocular injuries resulting from corporal punishment. Of the latter group, eighteen were males and nine were females. Their ages ranged from 3-15 years (mean = 8.5 ± 2.4 years). Corporal punishment-associated injuries occurred most commonly as seen in 17 (63%) of our study population who were aged 7-12 years. These 27 cases of injuries were sustained in the schools: 13 (48.2%), homes: eight (29.6%), market place: three (11.1%), workshop: two (7.4%) and worship houses: one (3.7%). A stick was the object mostly implicated in causing ocular injuries in 13 (48.2%) followed by a belt in five (18.5%) and a whip in four (14.8%). Severe visual impairment occurred in two (7.4%) patients while blindness occurred in three (11.1%) patients. Conclusion: Corporal punishment is a major cause of ocular morbidity and blindness in Nigerian children.
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