Craniofacial and neck burns in the pediatric population

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INTRODUCTION: Burn injuries can present with catastrophic physical and psychiatric harm with extensive, long-term sequelae. The pediatric population may especially be at-risk given this population's early neurocognitive and behavioral state of development. Innovations in treatment modalities and the development of evidence-based guidelines have helped mitigate burn morbidity and mortality in the pediatric population. Unfortunately, a surprising dearth of literature identifies risk-factors, epidemiological data, injury mechanisms, and prognostic factors within the pediatric population in the setting of craniofacial burns.

METHODS: An analysis of emergency department visits under the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was conducted for the most recent 5-year period available (2014-2018). Available information includes demographical data, such as age and sex, mechanism of injury, visit circumstances, as well as visit disposition. Additionally, details surrounding the injury, including type of burn and anatomical location of injury, were compared.

RESULTS: After a review of results, a total of 2599 patients were included for analysis. Our study shows that infants and young children are at increased risk for grave injury 27.3% and 13% of infants and toddlers transferred or admitted, respectively, p < 0.05). 59.8% of infant burns in particular were caused by liquid or kitchen products, while 44.5% of burns in toddlers were caused by chemical products (p < 0.05 for both). Conversely, adolescents are at greater risk of burns in the setting of occupational and hobby-based activities (20.4% of adolescent burns).

CONCLUSIONS: Craniofacial burns in the pediatric population may present with complex pathology and sometimes necessitate advanced care. Presentations and prognoses are different dependent upon age and injury mechanism. These findings may serve as important framework in the establishment of guidelines for medical and legislative reform.


This article was published in Burns.

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Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI.

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Burns: Journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries

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