BMJ Case Reports 2012; doi:10.1136/bcr.09.2011.4780
  • Reminder of important clinical lesson

Burns in children: the importance of assessing for non-accidental injuries

  1. Emma Lucy Marsdin2
  1. 1Paediatric Department, Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’s Medical School, London, UK
  2. 2General Surgery Department, John Radcliffe NHS Trust, Banbury, UK
  1. Correspondence to Miss Emma Lucy Marsdin, emmamarsdin{at}


Children represent 30% of all burn cases seen by accident and emergency physicians in the UK every year, with toddlers being most at risk within this age group. With the emergence of walking autonomy, the need for constant supervision is sometimes not enough to prevent this type of injury from happening. However, in remembering the importance of children’s health and safety, non-accidental injury is always to remain a differential diagnosis. The authors review a paediatric burns case underlying the importance of keeping an open mind to allow a proper clinical diagnosis to be formed.


  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

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