Burns are a major source of pediatric morbidity and are associated with significant national healthcare resource utilization annually and is the third leading cause of accidental death of children in the United States (CDC, 2007). Scald burns, caused by hot liquids or steam, are more common types of burn-related injuries among young children, compared to contact burns, caused by direct contact with fire, which is more prevalent among older children (Brigham, 1996; Morrow, 1996) Most scald burns in children are the result of hot liquid.


The typical age is 18 months to 3 years of age. The injury usually occurs when the child reaches up onto the countertop and pulls down a container of hot liquid.  The pattern of injury is typical, with burns on the face, neck, shoulder, chest and thigh.

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