Risk factors for scald injury in children under 5 years of age: a case-control study using routinely collected data

Burns. 2013 Nov;39(7):1474-8. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2013.03.022. Epub 2013 Apr 29.


Scald injury is common, accounting for half of all burns in pre-school children. Most scalds are preventable and health professionals can play an important role in targeting interventions to those at greatest risk. However, the potential for routinely collected medical data to be used to identify high risk children has not been well explored. We used a matched case-control study to identify risk factors for first scald injury in children under 5 using a large, nationally representative database of routinely collected primary care records. Among 986 cases and 9240 controls, male gender, age (2 years), higher birth order, single-parent families and increasing index of material deprivation were associated with increased odds of scald injury. Older maternal age at childbirth was associated with decreased odds of scald injury. Children at risk of scald injury can be identified from routinely collected primary care data and primary care practitioners can use this information to target evidence-based safety interventions.

Keywords: General practice; Injury; Scald.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Home / statistics & numerical data*
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology