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November 6, 1996

Home Radiator Burns Among Inner-City Children—Chicago, September 1991-April 1994

JAMA. 1996;276(17):1374. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540170018010

CONTACT with hot surfaces is a cause of substantial morbidity among children.1,2 In 1993, an estimated 1881 children visited emergency departments for treatment of burns related to nonvehicle radiators in the United States.3 This report summarizes the investigation of radiator burns among children aged 0-19 years living in a Chicago housing project and provides recommendations for preventing radiator burn injuries.

From September 1991 through April 1994, a total of 10 children were treated in one pediatric clinic in Chicago for burns resulting from contact with home radiators. The children ranged in age from 7 months to 5 years; six were aged <2 years, and six were boys. Cases were identified by monitoring pediatric visits to the clinic for children who had burns associated with contact with a home radiator.

Eight of the burns occurred in a housing project in an inner-city neighborhood on the west side