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April 1994

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

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)