In terms of mortality, morbidity and disability, burns are emerging as a major child health problem in Bangladesh. This trend is similar to many other developing countries. To develop effective burn prevention programmes, information on its magnitude and determinants is necessary. The purpose of this study was to document the magnitude and determinant of childhood burns in Bangladesh, based on a population-based survey which was conducted between January and December 2003. Nationally representative data was collected from 171,366 rural and urban households, comprising of a total population of 819,429. To facilitate data collection, face-to-face interviews were conducted. The rate of non-fatal burn among children under 18 years of age was calculated as 288.1 per 100,000 children-year. The highest incidence (782.1/100,000 children-year) was found among the 1-4 years age group. About 46% of non-fatal burn injuries occurred between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. The incidence of childhood burn was found to be more than four times higher in rural children than urban children. Ninety percent (90%) of the childhood burns occurred at homes and the kitchen was the most common place. The rate of disability due to burn was 5.7 per 100,000 children per year. The rate of fatal burn was 0.6 per 100,000 per year among all children. The study findings confirmed that childhood burn was a major childhood illness in Bangladesh. An urgent and appropriate prevention programme is required to prevent these unwanted morbidities, disabilities and deaths due to burn.