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Therapeutic Swings May Cause Eye Injury in Autistic Children

Use of home swings results in recurrent corneal metallic foreign bodies in two children

TUESDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- Physicians from two different medical centers recently identified therapeutic home swings, used for vestibular stimulation in patients with autism-spectrum disorders, as the common culprit in recurrent corneal metallic foreign bodies in two of their patients, according to an article published in the Journal of AAPOS, the official periodical of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

Rinat Kehat, M.D., of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and Dean J. Bonsall, M.D., of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, report on an 8-year-old, severely autistic boy and a 10-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome presenting with recurrent corneal metallic foreign bodies.

A carefully detailed history of the children's activities revealed they both frequently used therapeutic home swings with metallic suspensions, pointing to a probable source of the metallic foreign bodies. When the children used protective eyewear during swinging, they had no further recurrences, the authors write.

"Awareness of this potential danger is particularly important in children with disabilities, who may have difficulty communicating their concerns and cooperating during treatment and examination," Kehat and Bonsall conclude.

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