The pattern of burn injuries in childhood

N Z Med J. 1989 Nov 8;102(879):584-6.


This was a retrospective study of all children aged less than 15 years who attended the accident and emergency department of a provincial hospital on account of burns over a 3 year period. There were a total of 372 patients of whom 58% were male and 66% were preschoolers. There was no seasonal variation of numbers attending, 85% of patients attended between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm and in 80% of cases burns involved the limbs. Of all burns 37% were due to hot liquids and 6.2% due to hot tap water. A total of 29 (7.8%) attending children were admitted of whom 6 (20% of admissions) were due to hot tap water burns. Sixteen (4.3%) of children received burns as a result of suspected or proven non-accidental injury. My findings suggest that burns continue to cause significant morbidity in preschool children and that hot tap water causes disproportionately severe and largely preventable injuries, the reasons for this are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Burns / etiology
  • Burns / pathology*
  • Burns / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies