Scalds and burns

Study of accidental scalds/burns in 1215 children, looking predominantly at issues of prevention:

72% were <5 years, peak prevalence in 1-year-olds.

Commonest scald agent <5 years was a cup/mug of hot beverage (someone else’s, obviously).

Scalds affected the front of the body in almost all (96%): predominantly to the face, arms and upper trunk in <5-year-olds, compatible with pulling on an adult’s arm. Older children had scalds to the lower trunk, legs and hands.

Contact burns (<5 years) were mostly from touching hot items in the home, esp hair straighteners, irons and oven hobs.

Many contact burns in older children happen outdoors.

67% of all contact burns affected the hands.


Arch Dis Child doi:10.1136/archdischild-2013-304991  A M Kemp, S Jones, Z Lawson, S A Maguire