Hot beverage scalds in Australian children

J Burn Care Rehabil. 2004 May-Jun;25(3):224-7. doi: 10.1097/01.bcr.0000124821.22553.24.


Our objective was to compile data on the mechanism and severity of injuries associated with hot beverage burns in children. We identified 152 children over a 3-year period who attended a tertiary level burns center, representing 18% of all children treated. Their median age was 17.5 months and median body surface area burned was 4% (range, 0.25% to 32%). Significantly, 52% of children required admission, 18% received a split skin graft, and 26% required long-term scar management. In 70% of all cases, the mechanism of injury was the child pulling the hot beverage over himself or herself. In 80% of incidents, a primary care giver witnessed the injury. These findings indicate that scalding from hot beverages carries significant morbidity and is an important pediatric public health issue. It is clear that further research towards effective education programs for primary caregivers is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Distribution
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Beverages / adverse effects*
  • Body Surface Area
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / etiology
  • Burns / prevention & control
  • Burns / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors