April 1994

Age as a Risk Factor for Burn Injury Requiring Hospitalization During Early Childhood

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Field Epidemiology, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(4):394-397. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170040060010

Objective:  To examine the variation by age in the rates and causes of burn injury requiring hospitalization during early childhood.

Design and Setting:  Hospital discharge data and a burn unit admission log were used to identify all children in the Denver (Colo) metropolitan area younger than 5 years who sustained burn injuries and were hospitalized in 1989 and 1990. Patients' medical records were reviewed.

Results:  One hundred twenty-two children were identified with burn injuries that required hospitalization, an annual incidence of 40.5 per 100 000 children younger than 5 years. Children aged 6 months through 2 years accounted for 88% of all cases and were seven times more likely to be hospitalized for a burn injury than were children outside this age range. Scalding and contact with hot objects accounted for 64% and 20% of cases, respectively, and occurred primarily in the 6-month through 2-year age group.

Conclusions:  The findings underscore the importance of developmental stage as a determinant of risk and type of burn injury. Children aged 6 months through 2 years are at increased risk of severe burn injury and should be targeted for prevention efforts.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148:394-397)