Epidemiology of childhood burn injuries in Fars province, Iran

J Burn Care Rehabil. 2002 Jan-Feb;23(1):39-45. doi: 10.1097/00004630-200201000-00008.


Childhood burn injuries are a major environmental agent responsible for significant morbidity and mortality in Iran. Thus, the objective of this study was to analyze the epidemiology and current causative factors of hospitalized burn injuries among the approximately 1.6 million children between the ages of birth through 15 years residing in the Fars province of Iran. These data will be used as a basis for developing a targeted preventive program to protect children from burns. Epidemiologic data for 760 children, aged 0 to 15 years, admitted to the two burn centers of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, over a 4-year period, 1994 to 1998, were collected and analyzed. The overall hospitalization rate was 11.8 per 100,000 person-years (PY). The sex ratio (boys/girls) was 1.38. About 60% were children aged 7 years or younger. Children aged 2 years had the highest burn incidence rate (36.9/100,000 PY). A total of 77.4% of the children had body surface area burns less than 40%. Scalds accounted for 46.2% of the burns, whereas 42.9% were caused by flame. Most of the burn injuries occurred at home (93%). There were 31 burns from suicide attempts among children aged 11 to 15 years (1.4/100,000 PY), showing a major public health problem for these children in our society. During the period of the study, 131 children died of the consequences of burns (2/100,000 PY). The epidemiology of childhood burn injuries in the Fars province is similar to that reported in other economically developing countries. It is suggested that a public health education campaign on this issue would help to reduce the incidence of childhood burn injuries in this region.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / etiology*
  • Burns / mortality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate