Factors associated with accidental burn injuries in children twelve years and below admitted at Chitungwiza and Harare Central Hospitals in Zimbabwe (pp. 297-303)
Authors: Theodora M Chikwanha, Tamisayi Chinhengo, and Addmore Chadambuka
Abstract: Chitungwiza and Harare Central hospitals experienced increases in paediatric burn injuries occurring at home from 35% and 31% in 2008 to 41% and 38% in 2009 respectively. A study was carried out to determine factors associated with these accidental burn injuries occurring at home. Methods: A matched 1:1 case control study was carried out at Chitungwiza and Harare Central Hospitals. A case was a child twelve years and below admitted with accidental burn injuries occurring at home between 1st May 2010 and 31st July 2010 residing in Chitungwiza and Harare. A control was a child twelve years and below admitted for other medical conditions at the two institutions during the same period and residing in the same neighbourhood as the case. Interviewer administered questionnaires were administered to consenting caregivers of cases and controls within the wards. Results: 131 cases and 131 controls were interviewed. Independent risk factors for accidental burn injuries were child unattended at home AOR=2.88 (1.10-7.55), using same room for cooking and sleeping AOR= 5.08 (2.29-11.27), not taking precaution when cooking AOR =4.86 (1.73-13.65) and not taking precautions when serving food AOR =7.85 (2.18 -28.25). Previous health education on burn prevention AOR =0.39 (0.26-0.71) was protective. Conclusion: Most of the identified risk factors for burn injuries were within the home environment yet most caregivers reported taking precautions. There is need to educate the community on methods of modifying the home environment in order to reduce occurrence of burn injuries at home.