A retrospective study of bath-related burn injuries was carried out at our institution. A total of 216 patients with burns were admitted between 1982 and 1996. Bath-related burns were identified in 58 patients (26.9%). The number of patients with bath-related burns increased throughout the study period. The percentage body surface area burned was 43.8 +/- 25.7% in the bath-related burn group and 27.3 +/- 28.3% in the bath-unrelated burn group. This difference was significant. There was no significant difference between the two groups with respect to mortality rate. The mechanism by which the patients sustained a bath-related burn clearly differed according to age. The percentage of burns which are bath-related and the severity of bath-related burns are higher in Japan than in any other country. This can be attributed to lifestyle, bathing systems, bathroom architecture, housing conditions and an increase in the elderly population. These burns can be prevented. Education based on this study will play a critical role in the prevention of the bath-related burn injuries.