Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children with burn injuries

J Burn Care Res. Sep-Oct 2008;29(5):724-9. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e31818480e1.


This study explored the characteristics of children with burns who were also diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The study was intended to identify and better understand the risk factors for such injuries and to help direct future burn prevention and education efforts for children with these underlying disorders. We performed a retrospective, comparison group study of 103 pediatric burn patients ranging in age from 5 to 18 years. Forty-four children who were diagnosed with ADD or ADHD at the time of their burn injury were compared with a random sample of 59 burn-injured children without the diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. Variables analyzed included patient demographics, cause of burn, length of hospitalization, engagement in high risk behavior at the time of injury, presence of other developmental, mental health diagnoses, and/or school behavior problems. The ADD or ADHD group had a significantly greater incidence of mental health and school behavior problems than other children with burn injuries. They also had a significantly greater history of high risk behavior at the time of injury than the comparison group. Children with ADD or ADHD who also had an additional mental health diagnosis had a higher incidence of school behavior problems. Our findings suggest the need for additional studies of children with ADD or ADHD who sustain burn injuries. Children with ADD or ADHD who have school behavior problems and/or a tendency to engage in high-risk behavior may be at greatest risk for burn injuries and most likely to benefit from educational counseling or other modalities of burn prevention.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / physiopathology
  • Burns / complications*
  • Burns / physiopathology
  • Burns / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Injury Severity Score
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Severity of Illness Index