TITLE

Pattern of Burns in Child Abuse

AUTHOR(S)
Ojo, Peter; Palmer, John; Garvey, Richard; Atweh, Nabil; Fidler, Philip
PUB. DATE
March 2007
SOURCE
American Surgeon;Mar2007, Vol. 73 Issue 3, p253
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Cases of burns from child abuse are low because of under-reporting, low index of suspicion, or lack of verity proof. Although the reported incidence of child abuse by burns is 4 to 39 per cent, less than one-half are substantiated. We retrospectively reviewed all burns in children less than 6 years old admitted to our burn center within an 8-year period (1997-2003). Of the 155 children less than 6 years old admitted with burns within the study period, only six cases (3.8%) were confirmed as occurring from abuse. Scald injury was the most common cause of accidental and abuse burns. Burns by child abuse occur mostly from tap water (50%) and usually in children less than 2 years old. Whenever the extremities were involved, the left side was always included. In extreme cases, however, multiple areas of the body were involved with intervening spared sites. The perpetrator was the mother's boyfriend in all cases. Burns in children less than 2 years old left in the care of the mother's boyfriend, involving the left extremity (or extremities), and caused by tap water should prompt the clinician to more actively confirm or exclude abuse.
ACCESSION #
24238260

 

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