Background It is globally reported that young children are at a higher risk of burns but little is known about the individual risk factors. This study was undertaken in 2008 to investigate factors associated with burn injuries in children aged 0–5 years.
Methods This was a case-control study with cases recruited prospectively from children attending hospital for a new burn injury and controls recruited from children admitted for other conditions.
Results A total of 248 cases and 248 controls were recruited. Cases included scalds (79%), contact burns (17%) and flame injuries (4%). Burns were most commonly caused by tea utensils (42%) and kerosene stoves (36%). Multivariable analyses found that a poor living standard (OR 5.4, 95% CI 2.6 to 11.7), having a child with a higher activity score (OR 5.3, 95% CI 3.4 to 8.5), having a history of burns in other family members (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5 to 5.2) and a higher number of home hazards (OR for a one unit increase in hazards score 1.32, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.70) were all associated with a significant increase in the odds of a burn injury. The presence of a second carer (OR 0.42, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.7) and having disability (OR 0.14, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.6) were protective factors.
Conclusions This information about risk factors for burn injuries can be used to target preventive interventions towards families at the greatest risk of injury.
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