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Burns. 1996 Nov;22(7):539-42.

Burn repetitions in Ghanaian children: prevalence, epidemiological characteristics and socioenvironmental factors.

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  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


This paper reports the prevalence, epidemiological characteristics and socioenvironmental-factors for burn repetitions in Ghanaian children newborn to 5 years old using a population-based survey. Mothers of children identified in a survey with burn scars were interviewed to obtain information on each child's demographics and the burn event, among others. Burn repeaters were compared with non-repeaters (children burned just once). Of 630 children identified with burns, 20 (3.2 per cent) had been burned twice. This statistic is significantly lower than expected from the known burn prevalence of 6.1 per cent in the region (P < 0.01). Burn repeaters included nine (45 per cent) children aged 24-35 months, 11 (55 per cent) males, and 9 (45 per cent) rural residents. The mean time interval between repeat burns was 9.6 months. While different mechanisms caused the two burns in 14 children, six were burned by the same mechanism. None of the demographic and socioenvironmental variables examined was significantly associated with burn repetition. It is concluded that since burn repetitions are low and share similar epidemiological characteristics with first-time burns, prevention efforts need not address repeat burns separately from burns in general.

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