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UF researchers warn parents about dangers of childhood foot burns
Date:3/5/2008

second-degree burns, and more than a third were third-degree burns, the most serious type.

Clearly theyre not going to have this problem in Manhattan, where most people dont even have space for a backyard, Beierle said. I think this is a problem in rural areas with warm weather because it tends to be more common to burn trash and leaves in the backyard in these areas.

Wayne Cruse, M.D., a professor of surgery at the University of South Florida and assistant director of the Regional Burn Center at Tampa General Hospital, said about one-third of the pediatric burns treated at the Tampa General burn center are foot and ankle injuries.

The study is a great review of these burn cases because it shows how the origins of these injuries tend to be region-specific, he said. We see about two to three cases a month, and in about half of the instances, the accidents occurred on the beach from kids running over ashes and hot sand that were supposed to extinguish a bonfire.

These smoldering byproducts of burning yard debris, charcoal and campfire timbers posed the greatest risk to children under age 5. Lack of parental supervision, open sandals and running around outdoors with bare feet were some of the factors contributing to the burn injuries.

The classic story is that a 2-year-old goes running outside through the ashes without footwear and gets burned, Beierle said. In many cases parents burned yard trimmings or trash and didnt put water on the underlying coals to properly extinguish the fire. They just thought it was out because there werent open flames any longer.

Cruse said the burns can be easily prevented by using common sense when families make outdoor fires.

Parental supervision is paramount and proper closed footwear is also very important in the presence of a fire, he said. But the best preventative modality is to learn how to extinguish the fires appropriately. The best resource that tells you how to
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Contact: Jennifer Brindise
jennifer.brindise@surgery.ufl.edu
352-265-0646
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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