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September 1996

Injury Control in Practice: Home Radiator Burns in Inner-City Children

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(9):954-957. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170340068013

Objective:  To describe thermal burns from radiators in the homes of children in the inner city and an intervention to decrease the risk for this pediatric injury.

Setting:  Academic medical center in Chicago.

Patients:  Case series of 10 radiator-related burns.

Results:  The burns described were found to be clustered in an area of a public housing project served by steam radiators. No burns were associated with hot water radiators. Just 14% of housing units with young children had adequate radiator covers and radiator pipe insulation. Radiator covers and insulation have now been replaced or repaired in all units of the 11 housing project buildings served by steam radiators.

Conclusions:  Steam radiators in the home represent a particular childhood burn hazard. Community-based clinicians are in a unique position to recognize local patterns of injury and work with other agencies in injury control efforts.Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150:954-957