Violence against children: further evidence suggesting a relationship between burns, scalds, and the additional injuries

Int J Legal Med. 2010 Jan;124(1):49-54. doi: 10.1007/s00414-009-0347-6. Epub 2009 Apr 28.


Up to 22 % of all child maltreatment cases involve non-accidental burns or scalds. In the time period of 2000 until 2007, 20 children with non-accidental burns and scalds in conjunction with other mechanisms of injury were examined at children's hospitals in Hamburg and at the Institute of Legal Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, by experts in forensic medicine. The fact that these children presented with additional injuries due to blunt and sharp force and sometimes had signs of neglect emphasize the urgent need for a multidisciplinary cooperation between pediatricians and forensic medical experts to ensure the early identification and prevention of child maltreatment. A new approach for Germany, enforcing mandatory child well-being examinations is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / pathology
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / statistics & numerical data*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cicatrix / epidemiology
  • Cicatrix / pathology
  • Female
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Thinness / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / pathology