Gas Cans & Childhood Burn Injuries

AKRON - Burn injuries are among the most disfiguring and potentially serious bodily injuries. Childhood burns can cause long-term suffering and result in permanent physical and mental scars as well as lead to years of rehabilitation.

Childhood burns are known to result from accidental ignition of gasoline stored near a flame.

Dr. Christopher S. Kennedy and associates at the Children's Mercy Hospital, together with the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine reviewed cases seen in their emergency departments for burn injury risks associated with home storage of gasoline and outlined possible strategies to avoid related burn injury and death.

The study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics (1997;vol.99,p.e3), reported data about 25 childhood burn victims who were seen in Children's Mercy Hospital over a one year period.

The data showed that 95% of the gas can burn victims were boys. The average age of the children was 2.7 years. The source of ignition of the gasoline was a pilot light in ALL cases (4 gas dryers, 21 hot water heaters)!