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Facts About Burn Injury

According to the latest data available from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consider the following statistics:

  • Accidental, or unintentional, injury is a leading cause of death among children ages 14 and younger.
  • Leading causes of accidental injury at home are burns, drowning, suffocation, choking, poisonings, falls, and fire arms.
  • Burns and fires are the fifth most common cause of accidental death in children and adults, and account for estimated 4,000 adult and child deaths per year.
  • Nearly 75 percent of all scalding burns in children are preventable.
  • Toddlers and children are more often burned by a scalding or flames.
Age Most Common Injury Type Risk Factors
< 5 Years Flame Playing with matches, cigarette lighters, fires in fireplaces, barbecue pits, and trash fires.
  Scald Kitchen injury from tipping scalding liquids.

Bathtub scalds often associated with lack of supervision or child abuse. Greatest number of pediatric burn patients are infants and toddlers younger than 3 years of age burned by scalding liquids.
5 to 10 Years Flame Male children are at an increased risk often due to fire play and risk-taking behaviors.
  Scald Female children are at increased risk, with most burns occurring in the kitchen or bathroom.
Adolescent Flame Injury associated with male peer-group activities involving gasoline or other flammable products, such as fireworks.
  Electrical Occurs most often in male adolescents involved in dare-type behaviors, such as climbing utility poles or antennas. In rural areas, burns may be caused by moving irrigation pipes that touch an electrical source.
  • During the last 30 years, burn injuries have decreased for the following reasons:
    • Increased use of smoke detectors.
    • The flammability of consumer products, such as toys and pajamas, is federally regulated.
    • The US government monitors safety in the workplace.
    • A greater national emphasis is placed on burn injury prevention and fire safety.
    • A decrease in smoking helps prevent burn injuries.
    • New water heaters in homes and in public areas are now preset at lower temperatures to reduce scald injuries.
    • There are fewer open fires.

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