Accidental burn injury is common among children. Contact burns are the second most frequent cause of burns in children and electric iron contact burns constitute a substantial proportion of this group. A prospective analysis of electric iron burns presenting from 1988 to 1991 was conducted. The 38 iron burns treated during this period represented 19% of contact burns treated. The mean age of injury was 19 months. The male to female ratio was 1.1:1 and 80% involved the upper limb. Twenty-five per cent required operation. All burns occurred in the child's own home with the majority (74%) occurring in the central living areas while the child was supervised (45%). The child was most likely to be injured by touching the iron directly or pulling the cord. A substantial number of burns occurred even after the iron was switched off. Education should be directed towards the caregivers of young children emphasizing the need to use and store irons in areas to which children do not have free access. Powerpoints should be placed so that children cannot reach the cord. Manufacturers should provide insulated pads in which to store the iron and a retracting cord to help prevent the cord being within a child's reach.