The epidemiology of 382 burns admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, is reviewed. Accidents due to burn trauma are disproportionately common among children when compared with adults, and during childhood years make up a sizable proportion of all injuries. In addition to the immediate physical trauma, there can be severe psychological consequences as well as severe disturbances to family life. Seventy per cent of the children in this series were normal active children less than four years of age, who were too young to learn that certain things are dangerous, and for this group preventative measures must be directed towards the parents. Possible methods of prevention of burns in children are discussed, and it is tragic that the very traits that make young children so engaging also lead them to accidental burn injuries. Their only hope of prevention lies in increased parental concern.