The causes, cost, and prevention of childhood burn injuries

Am J Dis Child. 1990 Jun;144(6):677-83. doi: 10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150300075020.


In 1985, fire and/or burn injuries killed 1461 children aged 0 to 19 years in the United States; an estimated 23,638 children were hospitalized and 440,000 were treated for burns. More than 101,000 life years were lost. A "cost of burn injury" model suggests a dollar value of societal losses from childhood burn deaths and injuries at approximately $3.5 billion. Very young children (0 to 4 years) dying in house fires accounted for 47% of these deaths. Preventing fire deaths through residential sprinklers, smoke detectors, fire-safe cigarettes, and child-resistant lighters would prevent more than three quarters of all childhood fire/burn deaths. While interventions exist for tap water scalds, solutions to the problems of "kitchen" scald and gasoline-involved flame burns are less apparent.

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention
  • Adolescent
  • Burns / economics
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / prevention & control
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Morbidity
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Value of Life