Contact Hand Burns in Children: Still a Major Prevention Need

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2 Scopus citations


Since toddlers explore with their hands, contact burns continue to be a major pediatric problem. The purpose of this report is to review our 8-year experience with contact burns of the hand. After institutional review board approval, a review of pediatric contact hand burns that occurred between 2006 and 2014 was performed. In the 8-year span, 536 children had contact hand burns. The majority suffered burns from an oven or stove (120). The other etiologies included burns from a fireplace (76), clothing iron (65), curling or straightening iron (50), and firepit or campfire (46). The mean age was 2.62 years, with a range of 2 months to 18 years. Male children (339) burned their hands more than females (197). Most children burned the palmar aspect of their hand (384) compared to the dorsum (61). These burns typically cover small TBSAs (mean 1.08% TBSA), with only 2% of burns comprising >5% TBSA. Approximately, 84% of these patients did not need surgery, but 86 (16%) had skin grafting (usually full thickness) and roughly 26% of those needed reconstructive surgery. Contact burns to the hand continue to be a major problem for toddlers. Children are most likely to burn themselves on an oven or stove, fireplace, clothing iron or curling/straightening iron. The palmar surface of the hand is the most likely site. While most children do not require surgery, approximately 16% require grafting. A significant number of those patients need reconstructive surgery. Clearly, current prevention efforts have failed to reduce these injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1000-1003
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of burn care & research : official publication of the American Burn Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 23 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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