March 28, 1964

Another Deathtrap for Young Children

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

JAMA. 1964;187(13):1034. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060260062024

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To the Editor:—  Victims of a tragic household accident have come under our care with sufficient frequency in recent years to deserve the special attention of the medical profession as well as the laity. Comparable to the "abandoned icebox" and the "plastic suitbag" accidents, these tragedies have resulted in severe, often fatal, burns to small children. The circumstances of four instances involving five children were virtually identical. In each case the children were playing unattended in the utility room of their homes, in which there was a gas water heater and a container of gasoline for use in a power lawn mower. The children were engulfed in flames when they overturned the container of gasoline, which soon ignited from the water heater.One boy, aged 2, on Sept 10, 1959, suffered 45% surface burns involving all extremities and the anterior and posterior aspects of the mid-torso. He was hospitalized initially

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