Background objectives To determine the incidence of paediatric scald burns for children younger than 3 years treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. To quantify injury patterns associated with scald burns to inform prevention recommendation messaging.
Methods The NEISS coding manual was reviewed for cause of injury and its database was queried to identify cases among patients up to age 3 years old with a diagnosis of scald burns between 1/01/2009 and 12/31/2012. The resulting data set was downloaded and case narratives were reviewed to identify injury patterns associated with scald burns.
Results The NEISS query identified 2,104 scald burn cases in children younger than 3 years old between 2009–2012. The NEISS query estimated 11,028 scald burns nationally. The analysis of the case narratives resulted in the identification of six precipitating and/or contributing factors including: bathing/tap water, cooking/heating, parent/patient consuming beverage or food, appliance, grabbed/pulled/kicked/dropped/fell off table/counter/dresser, and other/not specified.
Conclusions NEISS is a valuable tool to identify scald burn risks. The NEISS data system provided an opportunity to identify scald burns in children under 3 years of age. An examination of the precipitating and contributing factors associated with scald burns provided information that can be utilised to inform prevention interventions for caretakers of young children. Interpretation of NEISS results is limited due to the lack of consistency and detail in narratives about the injury event.
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