'Mischievous' boys more prone to burn injuries: Study

September 08 2019

Children between the ages of one and five, especially boys, are more prone to burn injuries, a study conducted at Goa's top government-run hospital, the Goa Medical College, has revealed.


Boys are more prone to burn injuries because of their "mischievous nature and greater activity levels", the study conducted by Rashmin Roy and Yuri Dias Amborcar said.


Published in the latest edition of the International Journal of Scientific Research, the study was spread over four years and covered 271 paediatric patients who were treated at the Goa Medical College.


"Males (56 per cent) were affected more than females (44 per cent), similar to reports from previous studies. This may be attributable to the mischievous nature and greater activity levels of boys."


Out of the 271 paediatric patients admitted to the hospital for burn injuries, 70 per cent were below the age of five years, it added.


"Infants and toddlers learn to be mobile at this age. They start actively searching and reaching out to their environment and readily encounter hazards in the home. Children between ages one and five in our study were seen to be at the greatest risk of all.


"It is attributed to the fact that children are many times left unattended at home and they are too young to understand the dangers of being in the vicinity of injurious agents. Our study showed almost 70 per cent of the patients were below five years of age, and had male sex predominance, both of which conform to other studies on paediatric burns," it also said.


Among children, scalds -- injuries caused to the skin when it comes in contact with extreme heat -- are the most common burn injuries.


"Scalds (89 per cent) were predominant in patients of age less than five years, followed by older children who sustain injury caused mainly by flames (13 per cent)," the study said.


While in older children, flame burns caused by household fires and firecrackers are more common, scalds were caused by hot water, hot tea, or milk, the study said, adding that children sustained electric-contact burns in many instances as high as 25 per cent.


The study also revealed a relatively quick emergency response time vis a vis hospitalisation of paediatric patients with burn injuries in Goa.


"Time of presentation at the hospital after the incidence of burns is very important in view of the management of burns is concerned. In our study, 76 per cent patients were arrived in less than six hours of accident that leads to faster treatment and better survival of patients," the study said, adding that the overall death rate on account of burn injuries found during the study was 2.21 per cent.


"Mortality was found to be higher in the younger age group, in females, and in extensive burns more than 50 per cent. Sepsis remains the major cause of death."

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