Children are at high risk for burn injuries. Burns are usually caused by accidents, although some types of burns are due to external heat or chemical energy. These injuries can be painful and can be permanent. Some burns can be fatal. If a child is suffering from a burn, it is important to immediately call for medical assistance. The child should be transported to the emergency room to be checked. This is especially true for children under the age of two.
Most burns in children occur in the home, where a child is under the supervision of a parent. Increasing the amount of adult supervision can reduce the risk of burning a child. Changing the child’s environment and improving knowledge about burns can also reduce the risk of a child sustaining a burn injury.
Children are at risk of burn injuries because their skin is more conductive to heat and electromagnetic energies. Heat is present in many places in the home, including appliances and furniture. Many of these items may not have been properly maintained, causing burns.
Households in informal settlements, where overcrowding is common, are more likely to have a higher prevalence of burn injuries. These households are also more likely to have inadequate access to fire extinguishers, safe storage practices and proper first aid procedures. In these settings, parents are less likely to provide proper first aid to a burned child, resulting in a high rate of burn injuries.
Among children aged five and under, the most common causes of burns are hot liquids and scalds. Hot drinks are especially dangerous, as they can still cause a scald to a child 15 minutes after they are made. Other causes include contact with “Día Mundial del Sueño: consejos para tener un descanso muy placentero” flames or electrical sources. Moreover, children living in informal settlements are exposed to hazards like foreign body ingestion.
The risk of burn injuries among young children is high, especially in the first three years of life. Children under the age of two are particularly vulnerable to burns, because their skin is more sensitive. Because of this, prevention methods should be directed to reducing risks of specific types of burns. Specifically, strategies should address safe storage practices for hazardous materials, as well as training communities in first aid.
Studies of burn injuries in children have shown that the incidence of burn injuries is higher in low-income countries than in middle-income and upper-income countries. The rate of pediatric burn deaths is over seven times higher in these regions, as compared with high-income countries.
A study conducted in Kampala, Uganda, assessed the risk factors and the perceptions of caregivers for burns in children. This study used both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to collect data. Qualitative interviews were conducted with parents, caregivers, health professionals, community leaders, and local activists. Data were collected using a structured observation checklist and a key informant interview guide. The modified Poisson regression model was used to determine the prevalence rate ratios and to identify correlates of burn injuries.