Pediatric Trauma Society

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Hot or Not: The Danger of Recreational Fires in the Pediatric Population
Vinu Perinjelil, MD1; Leo Mercer, MD1; Afroze Ahmed, BS2; Fadi Al-Daoud, MD1; Gul Sachwani Daswani, DO1
1Hurley Medical Center, Flint MI; 2Michigan State University, Flint, MI

Background: Recreational fires are integrated into social events within our community. Open pits left unattended, insufficient adult supervision and the use of accelerants contribute to the increasing incidence of reported pediatric burns. The objective of our report is to enhance the existing literature on pediatric burn trauma secondary to recreational fires and provide insight on valuable guidelines communities can utilize in their injury prevention efforts.

Methods: This study is a retrospective review from 2012 to 2017 of pediatric patients (< 14 years of age) who presented to our university affiliated Level 1 Burn and Trauma center after sustaining burns from recreational fires. Data such as basic demographics, mechanism of injury, total body surface area (%TBSA), and management strategies were collected.

Results: Sixty-seven children were included in our study (45 males and 21 females). Sixty-two (94%) had partial thickness/2nd degree burns, seventeen (26%) had full thickness/3rd degree burns and three (5%) patients suffered 1st degree burns. Thirteen (20%) patients had burns to only 1 body region, thirty-five (53%) had burns to 2 or 3 body regions, and eighteen (27%) had 4 or more sites involved. Primary management in 56 patients was local debridement with wound care while 10 patients required more extensive debridement with skin grafts.

Conclusion: We demonstrate that much of burns associated with outdoor fires are severe and involve at least 2 body regions. Our study elucidates the risks of outdoor fires in children and emphasizes the efforts needed to safely construct and monitor bonfires and campfires.

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