6 November 2009
Increasing numbers of children are suffering contact burns caused by hair-straightening devices, Australian experts say.
Data from the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane and the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit revealed 22 paediatric patients treated for hair-straightener injuries between January 2004 and June 2009, with 16 of these cases occurring in the last 2 years (MJA 2009; 191: 516-17).
Most injuries were to the hands or forearms, and in all cases burns were significant, with 19 partial-thickness burns and 3 full-thickness burns requiring surgery. Nine children required long-term scar management.
“In toddlers (16 patients aged 9 to 48 months) the main mechanism of injury was grasping or pulling down a hair straightener that was either turned on or cooling,” the authors said. They called for increased awareness of the danger.
Last Reviewed: 06 November 2009