School holiday “burnanza”

School holiday “burnanza”

Sonia Tran1, Monique Bertinetti2

1 The Children’s Hospital Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury and Hainsworth St, Westmead

2 The Children’s Hospital Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury and Hainsworth St, Westmead

 Introduction: Anecdotally, a higher number of paediatric burns are referred to the burns unit at the Children’s Hospital Westmead (CHW) during the school holidays. To our knowledge, there is currently no study evaluating burns sustained by school-aged children during the school holidays compared to during the school term. This has the potential to direct timing of burn prevention strategies.

Methodology: An epidemiological analysis of school-aged children was conducted comparing burns sustained during the school holidays to burns during the school term. Data was retrieved from a prospectively collected database. We compared patient demographics, burn aetiology, burn severity, hospital admission, length of stay (LOS) and need for grafting.

Results: 3020 children were referred to CHW between January 2005 and January 2019. 909 children sustained a burn injury during school holidays and 2111 during the school term. The mean number of burns sustained increased from 3.8 children per week during the school term to 5.4 children per week during school holidays (p<0.0001). Contact burns were proportionally more common during school holidays than during the school term (26% vs 19.7%, p<0.0001) whilst the proportion of scalds decreased significantly during the school holidays (43.5& vs 51.4%, p<0.0001). There was no difference between mean age, % total body surface area, admission rates, LOS or grafting rates.

Conclusion: Burn injuries amongst school-aged children are more common during the school holidays. Increased burn prevention campaigns in the period approaching the school holidays may be more effective in raising public awareness and reducing burn injuries amongst school aged children.


Sonia Tran is currently the Burns Fellow at the Children’s Hospital Westmead.

Campfire Awareness Across the Ages: Move Over Media Release – Make Room for #SocialMedia

Miss Hannah Coulter1, Ms Tamsin Mahoney1, Ms Biba Wythes2, Dr Bronwyn Griffin3,4, Associate Professor Leila  Cuttle5,6,7, Professor Roy Kimble6,7,8

1Queensland Children’s Hospital, Occupational Therapy Department, South Brisbane, Australia, 2Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service, South Brisbane, Australia, 3School of Nursing, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 4Centre for Children’s Health Research, South Brisbane, Australia, 5School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 6Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, South Brisbane, Australia, 7Centre for Children’s Health Research, South Brisbane, Australia, 8Queensland Children’s Hospital Pegg Ledistchke Children’s Burns Centre, South Brisbane, Australia


Campfire awareness across the ages: move over media release – make room for #SocialMedia


Camping is a rite of passage for Queenslanders, with approximately 430,000 campers spending 1.1 million nights under the stars annually. In 2018, 78 children sustained a campfire related burn. The Pegg Ledistchke Children’s Burns Centre (PLCBC) has demonstrated that targeted public awareness campaigns are likely to decrease the incidence of campfire burns.

The purpose of this study was to explore whether an education campaign utilising social media would result in reduced numbers of campfire related burns in children.


The Children’s Health Queensland Media and Communications team hosted a targeted campfire awareness campaign using social media algorithms during the 2019 Easter period.

The campaign involved posts and sponsored ads with a mix of image and text, interactive polls and animation videos that targeted parents through to outdoor enthusiasts.

A retrospective clinical audit of campfire related burns was completed utilising data from the Queensland Paediatric Burns Registry across three Easter periods (2017, 2018, 2019). Data collected included patient demographics, age, Total Body Surface Area, burn depth, surgical and Occupational Therapy management.


Analysis of engagement strategies over the three-week period revealed:

  • Total reach = 125,750
  • Total impressions = 184,013
  • Total engagements = 26,837

Data analysis comparing the Easter periods over the last three years will demonstrate the effect of different styles of campaigns.


It has been demonstrated that targeted education campaigns may reduce the incidence of campfire burns in children. The purpose of this clinical audit is to assess whether an education campaign utilising social media is as successful as previous campaigns.


Hannah is an Occupational Therapist at the Queensland Children’s Hospital Pegg Ledistchke Children’s Burns Centre with a passion for keeping kids active and engaged in what’s meaningful to them, whilst working collaboratively with colleagues, patients and their families to decrease the lifelong impact of a burn injury.

The epidemiology of accelerant related burns in the Northern Territory: a 5-year retrospective cohort study

Dr Guy Stanley1, Mr David Jacinto1, Dr Jodie Williams1

1Royal Darwin Hospital, 105 Rocklands Drive, Australia


Background: Accelerants ignite or enhance the development of fires but can rapidly cause severe burns. In the Northern Territory, planned fires are regulated, at a cost. Anecdotally, the NT burns service observed that accelerants contribute disproportionately to severe burns.

Methods: We conducted a 5-year, retrospective cohort study of accelerant burns admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital from 2014-2018 in a national and local context.

Results: In 38% of flame burns, an accelerant was used, which is significantly less than the national average. Predictive risk factors for a burn with an ignitable agent were male sex (8.75 risk ratio), living in the 0822 ‘remote rural’ postcode (1.48 risk ratio) and timing during the May-October Wet Season (1.22 risk ratio). Accelerant burns were associated with an absolute risk increase of mean Total Body Surface Area (9.12%), an increased mean length of stay (0.94 days) and a 15% increase in multiple body area burns, despite presenting on average 0.46 days earlier and receiving twice the rate of first aid, relative to non-accelerant burns. There was no year-on-year increase in accelerant burns.

Conclusion: The expense of a regulated fire and need to overcome waterlogged conditions in rural areas may explain why accelerant burns occur in particular post codes and times. We recommend simple education prior to the Wet Season, to reduce the overall risk to the public.

PGY4 General Surgical Service Registrar at Royal Darwin Hospital,

– Completed a ‘Masters of Surgery (Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery)’ from University Sydney

– Holds position of Pre-SET lead for Clinical Trials: Australia & New Zealand (CTANZ), Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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