Only one previous case report has described scald burns secondary to hair braiding in pediatric patients. The present case study is the largest to date of scald burns as a result of hair braiding in children and adults. Charts of all 1609 female patients seen at a single burn center from 2008 to 2014 were retrospectively reviewed to identify patients with scald burns attributed to hair braiding. Demographics, injury severity, injury patterns, and complications were analyzed. Twenty-six patients (1.6%) had scald burns secondary to hair braiding with median TBSA 3%. Eighty-five percent of patients were pediatric with median age 8 years. Injury patterns were as follows: back (62%), shoulder (31%), chest (15%), buttocks (15%), abdomen (12%), arms (12%), neck (12%), and legs (4%). No patients required operative intervention. Three patients were admitted to the hospital. Two patients required time off from school for 6 and 10 days post burn for recovery. Complications included functional limitations (n = 2), hypertrophic scarring (n = 1), cellulitis requiring antibiotics (n = 1), and anxiety requiring medical/psychological therapy (n = 2). This peculiar mechanism of injury not only carries inherent morbidity that includes the risks of functional limitations, infection, and psychological repercussions but also increases usage of resources through hospital admissions and multiple clinic visits. Further work in the form of targeted outreach programs is necessary to educate the community regarding this preventable mechanism of injury.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine