During the year 1987/1988 a case-control study was conducted, by means of a postal questionnaire, among parents of children aged 0-4 years. Cases (n = 122) were 0-4-year-old Dutch children who visited emergency departments with burn injuries. Controls (n = 213) were a sample of the Dutch population of 0-4-year-old children without burn injuries. Odds ratios based on logistic regression (OR-LR) and 90 per cent confidence intervals (CI (90 per cent) were calculated for a number of putative risk factors. The risk of burns was higher for children with other than Dutch (e.g. Turkish) ethnicity (OR-LR = 5.6; CI (90 per cent) = 2.6-11.9). Children who lived in relatively small houses turned out to have a higher risk of burns (OR-LR = 2.5; CI(90 per cent) = 1.3-4.7). To our surprise, children belonging to lower socioeconomic classes were found to have a decreased risk of burns (OR-LR = 0.3; CI (90 per cent) = 0.1-0.6). Furthermore, among several manipulatable risk factors, the use of an oven window which gets hot while in use appeared to have an increased risk of burns (OR-LR = 2.1; CI(90 per cent) 1.3-3.5). The same holds for the storage of hot drinks in their original pots instead of in vacuum flasks (OR-LR = 2.0; CI (90 per cent) 1.2-3.1). Cooking on a gas stove was found to be another risk factor (OR-LR = 2.5; CI(90 per cent) 1.1-10.0).