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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 the leading cause of death among children ages 14 and younger.
- The five leading causes of accidental injury are burns, motor vehicle accidents, falls, poisonings, and drowning.
- Burns and fires are the fourth most common cause of accidental death in children and adults, and account for nearly 4,500 adult and child deaths per year.
- Nearly 75 percent of all burns in children are preventable.
- More than 600 children die every year in fires, or from other burn injuries.
- Toddlers and children are more often burned by a scalding or flames
- The majority of children ages 4 and under who are hospitalized for burn-related injuries suffer from scalds burns (65 percent) or contact burns (20 percent).
- Hot tap water burns cause more deaths and hospitalizations than burns from any other hot liquids.
|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.|
|Scald||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 by 50 percent in the US 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