Study: 85 percent of campfire burns in children are from day-old fires

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A study of young burn victims treated at Regions Hospital Burn Center is prompting burn experts to warn parents about the dangers of day-old campfires. The study, recently published in the Journal of Burn Care & Research, is one of the first to analyze the number and extent of injuries from day-old campfires and fire pits. Researchers examined records of 30 patients under the age of 18 over a six year period. Results of their study include:

“Flames from fires are an obvious danger, but our experience suggests that the public is unaware that campfires are still hot enough to cause significant burns 16 hours later, so they are still dangerous the next morning,” said William Mohr, MD, HealthPartners medical director, Regions Hospital Burn Center.80 percent of the patients were toddlers or preschool aged children

  • >>83 percent of pediatric campfire injuries were the result of burns from day-old campfires
  • >>72 percent of the injuries were serious enough to require patients to be admitted to the hospital
  • >>32 percent of patients admitted needed surgery, mostly for skin grafts
  • >>68 percent of the burns were to hands and arms as a result of children falling into the fire with arms outstretched
  • >>One fourth of the patients had burns to their feet from stepping on hot embers

In the adult population, campfire burn injuries are most often linked to lighting campfires, and are often associated with intoxication and the misuse of flame propellants. The study can be found at the Journal of Burn Care & Research. For more information about burn prevention, check out Regions Burn Center prevention program HEAT (Healing Education and Training) at theheatteam.com.