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Patterns of burns and scalds in children

Kemp, Alison, Jones, S., Lawson, Z. and Maguire, Sabine 2014. Patterns of burns and scalds in children. Archives of Disease in Childhood 99 (4) , pp. 316-321. 10.1136/archdischild-2013-304991

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Objective: To describe the characteristics of childhood burns and scalds, mechanisms and agents to inform prevention. Methods: Prospective multicentred cross-sectional study of children (<16 years) with unintentional burns/scalds from five Emergency Departments (ED), a burns assessment unit and three regional children's Burns Units. Data collected: site, severity, distribution of the burn/scald, age, motor development of the child, agent and mechanism of the injury. Comparative analysis for children <5 and 5–16 years. Results: Of 1215 children, 58% (709) had scalds, 32% (390) contact burns and 116 burns from other causes, 17.6% (214/1215) were admitted to hospital and the remaining treated in ED or burns assessment centre. 72% (878) were <5 years, peak prevalence in 1-year-olds. Commonest scald agent (<5 years) was a cup/mug of hot beverage 55% (305/554), and commonest mechanism was a pull-down injury 48% (66/554). In 5–16-year-olds, scalds were from hot water 50% (78/155) and spill injuries 76% (118/155). Scalds affected the front of the body in 96% (680/709): predominantly to the face, arms and upper trunk in <5-year-olds, older children had scalds to the lower trunk, legs and hands. Contact burns (<5 years) were from touching 81% (224/277) hot items in the home, predominant agents: hair straighteners or irons 42% (117/277), oven hobs 27% (76/277), 5–16-year-olds sustained more outdoor injuries 46% (52/113). 67% (262/390) of all contact burns affected the hands. Conclusions: Scalds to infants and toddlers who pull hot beverages over themselves or sustain burns from touching irons, hair straighteners or oven hobs are a high priority for targeted prevention.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 0003-9888
Date of Acceptance: 17 November 2013
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2019 15:40

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