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Other useful references

The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.


Intentional non-scald burns

  • Three cases of sulphuric acid burns due to methamphetamine manufacture, deemed to be secondary to neglect 1,8
    • Each case suffered extensive burns to the mouth, larynx/pharynx and oesophagus. Two also experienced extensive burns to their neck, chest and abdomen 1,8 and another to their hands 1
  • A three year old child with pharyngeal caustic burn of intentional cause, rank 1 for abuse 2
    • This study highlights the frequency of non-abusive alkaline caustic ingestions, predominantly in children aged less than three years 2
  • An estimate of the age of burns by using inflammatory cell markers has been conducted on adult post-mortem samples 3
  • Children with ADHD sustain more burns than those without 4,5
  • Hair straighteners are becoming an increasingly common cause of unintentional contact burns 6,7,10
    • A recent Australian series identified 22 children over a 5 year period ranging in age from 9 months to 14 years with a peak age of 43.4 months 10
  • Injuries from hair straighteners are predominantly in children less than four years of age, affecting dorsal and ventral aspects of hands or dorsal and plantar aspects of feet 6
  • Study highlighting prevalence of sunburn is areas of low sun exposure (Ireland) where 46% of children aged less than 12 years experienced sunburn, despite 83% of parents using some sun protection for their children 9
  • A survey of over 2000 children aged less than five years seen in the Emergency Department (ED) annually in the US for non-intentional cigarette burns or poisonings. The commonest location for the burns was on the eyelids or face (87%), and the commonest age was less than two years old (82%). One assumption may be that children were far more likely to be brought to the ED for burns in such locations than to limbs 11

  • Older children may self-inflict burns with aerosol cans (‘frosties’) which are deep dermal burns and may not present until some time later 12

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  1. Farst K, Duncan JM, Moss M, Ray RM, Kokoska E, James LP. Methamphetamine exposure presenting as caustic ingestions in children. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2007;49(3):341-343 [Pubmed]
  2. Riffat F, Cheng A. Pediatric caustic ingestion: 50 consecutive cases and a review of the literature. Diseases of the Esophagus. 2009;22(1):89-94 [Pubmed]
  3. Tarran S, Langlois NE, Dziewulski P, Sztynda T. Using the inflammatory cell infiltrate to estimate the age of human burn wounds: a review and immunohistochemical study. Medicine, Science and the Law. 2006;46(2):115-126 [Pubmed]
  4. Badger K, Anderson L, Kagan RJ. Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children with burn injuries. Journal of Burn Care & Research. 2008;29(5):724-729 [Pubmed]
  5. Ghanizadeh A. Small burns among out-patient children and adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Burns. 2008;34(4):546-548 [Pubmed]
  6. Wilson Jones N, Wong P, Potokar T. Electric hair straightener burns an epidemiological and thermodynamic study. Burns. 2008;34(4):521-524 [Pubmed]
  7. Duncan RA, Waterston S, Beattie TF, Stewart K. Contact burns from hair straighteners: a new hazard in the home. Emergency Medicine Journal. 2006;23(3):e21 [Pubmed]
  8. Burge M, Hunsaker JC 3rd, Davis GJ. Death of a toddler due to ingestion of sulfuric acid at a clandestine home methamphetamine laboratory. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology. 2009;5(4):298-301 [Pubmed]
  9. Kiely AD, Hourihane J. Sun exposure and sun protection practices of children and their parents. Irish Medical Journal. 2009;102(5):139-140, 142-143 [Pubmed]
  10. Poiner ZM, Kerr MD, Wallis BA, Kimble RM. Straight to the emergency department: burns in children caused by hair-straightening devices. Medical Journal of Australia. 2009;191(9):516-517 [Pubmed citation only]
  11. Quirk JT. Cigarette-related injuries to young children in the USA, 2002-2007. Public Health. 2009;123(9):628-629 [Pubmed citation only]
  12. Stefanutti G, Yee J, Sparnon AL. Cryogenic burns from intentional use of aerosol spray in children: an emerging phenomenon. Burns. 2010;36(5):e65-e67 [Pubmed citation only]


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