Agents, mechanisms and clinical features of non-scald burns in children: a prospective UK study

E.L. Johnson, S Maguire, Linda Hollen, D Nuttall, David Rea, A.M. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
396 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: To inform childhood burn prevention by identifying demographics, clinical features and circumstances of unintentional non-scald burns. Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was conducted across Cardiff, Bristol and Manchester, including six emergency departments, three minor injury units and one burns unit between 13/01/2013-01/10/2015. Data collected for children aged <16 years with any burn (scald, contact, flame, radiation, chemical, electrical, friction) included: demographics, circumstances of injury and clinical features. Scalds and burns due to maltreatment were excluded from current analysis. Results: Of 564 non-scald cases, 60.8% were male, 51.1% were <3 years old, 90.1% of burns affected one anatomical site; Contact burns accounted for 86.7%, 34.8% of which were from objects placed at >0.6meters and 76.5% affected the hands. Hairstyling devices were the most common agent of contact burns (20.5%), 34.1% of hairstyling devices were on the floor. 63.7% of children aged 10-15 years sustained contact burns of which 23.2% were preparing food, and in burns from hairstyling devices, 73.3% were using them at the time of injury. Conclusions: Parents of toddlers must learn safe storage of hazardous items. Older children should be taught skills in safe cooking and hairstyling device use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1218-1226
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Early online date20 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017


  • Burns
  • Hairstyling devices
  • Contact burns
  • Safety hazards
  • Children

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