Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Incidence of medically attended paediatric burns across the UK

Davies, Katie; Johnson, Emma Louise; Hollén, Linda; Jones, Hywel M.; Lyttle, Mark D.; Maguire, Sabine; Kemp, Alison Mary

Incidence of medically attended paediatric burns across the UK Thumbnail


Katie Davies

Emma Louise Johnson

Linda Hollén

Hywel M. Jones

Sabine Maguire

Alison Mary Kemp


Objective: Childhood burns represent a burden on health services, yet the full extent of the problem is difficult to quantify. We estimated the annual UK incidence from primary care (PC), emergency attendances (EA), hospital admissions (HA) and deaths.

Methods: The population was children (0-15 years), across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (NI), with medically attended burns 2013-2015. Routinely collected data sources included PC attendances from Clinical Practice Research Datalink 2013-2015), EAs from Paediatric Emergency Research in the United Kingdom and Ireland (PERUKI, 2014) and National Health Services Wales Informatics Services, HAs from Hospital Episode Statistics, National Services Scotland and Social Services and Public Safety (2014), and mortality from the Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland and NI Statistics and Research Agency 2013-2015. The population denominators were based on Office for National Statistics mid-year population estimates.

Results: The annual PC burns attendance was 16.1/10 000 persons at risk (95% CI 15.6 to 16.6); EAs were 35.1/10 000 persons at risk (95% CI 34.7 to 35.5) in England and 28.9 (95% CI 27.5 to 30.3) in Wales. HAs ranged from 6.0/10 000 person at risk (95% CI 5.9 to 6.2) in England to 3.1 in Wales and Scotland (95% CI 2.7 to 3.8 and 2.7 to 3.5, respectively) and 2.8 (95% CI 2.4 to 3.4) in NI. In England, Wales and Scotland, 75% of HAs were aged < 5 years. Mortality was low with 0.1/1 000 000 persons at risk (95% CI 0.06 to 0.2).

Conclusions: With an estimated 19 574 PC attendances, 37 703 EAs (England and Wales only), 6639 HAs and 1–6 childhood deaths annually, there is an urgent need to improve UK childhood burns prevention.


Davies, K., Johnson, E. L., Hollén, L., Jones, H. M., Lyttle, M. D., Maguire, S., & Kemp, A. M. (2020). Incidence of medically attended paediatric burns across the UK. Injury Prevention, 26(1), 24-30.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 8, 2018
Online Publication Date Feb 21, 2019
Publication Date Feb 1, 2020
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 8, 2019
Journal Injury Prevention
Print ISSN 1353-8047
Electronic ISSN 1475-5785
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 24-30
Keywords child, burn, epidemiology
Public URL
Publisher URL