A total of 246 consecutive burn patients younger than 2 years and older than 70 years of age admitted to a burn center were reviewed retrospectively to study morbidity and mortality specific to these two age groups. Of these patients, 165 were less than 2 years of age and 81 were over 70 years of age, representing 16% and 8% of the total patient population respectively. In patients under 2, scald burns occurred in 127 (77%) and flame burns in 18 (11%). In patients over 70, flame was the most common burn mechanism, occurring in 64 (79%) patients, while scalds occurred in 12 (15%). The mean total body surface area (TBSA) burned in the younger age group was 13.2% (2.4% full thickness, 10.8% partial thickness) and in the older age group was 25% (12.8% full thickness, 12.2% partial thickness). Only 1 death occurred in the younger age group (0.6% mortality), while 41 deaths occurred in the older age group (50.6% mortality). If the burn involved a total body surface area greater than 40%, all patients died (100% mortality). A total of 36 complications occurred in the younger age group (0.2 complications per patient) and 111 in the older age group (1.4 per patient). Burn wound sepsis was the most common complication in each group, occurring in 28 patients under 2 and 42 elderly patients, and was responsible for the 1 death in the younger age group. Although burn wound sepsis was the most common complication in those patients over 70, cardiovascular and pulmonary complications were the most deadly, accounting for 68% (28 patients) of total deaths in this group.