Electric hair styling products found to be a common cause of burn injuries in children
Electronic hair styling products like curling irons are a common cause of burn injuries around the home, particularly among young children, resulting in almost 31,000 burns in children and young people between 2013-22, according to research presented during the 2023 AAP National Conference & Exhibition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
Researchers who wrote the abstract, "Burn Injuries in Children from Hair Styling Tools Presenting to United States Emergency Departments, 2013–2022: Beauty is More Than Skin Deep," studied data on emergency department visits involving hair styling equipment for patients ages 24 and younger from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database. Research showed that from 2013 to 2022 there were an estimated 30,839 burn injuries from hair styling tools and 1,050 emergency department visits. Hair curlers and curling irons accounted for 97.4% of the burn injuries reported.
"Hair styling tools are a timeless piece of our everyday routine, helping to create the picture-perfect look. Yet they have the greatest propensity to create a not so picture-perfect accident when not handled with care," said CPT Brandon L. Rozanski, MD, lead author and pediatric resident at Tripler Army Medical Center. "Electric hair styling tools can reach temperatures as high as 450ºF in a matter of minutes, creating potential situations of unintentional burn injury for both the device user and surrounding bystanders."
Of those hospital emergency department encounters studied, 68% of the injured subjects were age 10 or younger and 65.1% were female. Almost three-quarters of these injuries occurred within the home (72.3%), and 98.6% did not require hospital stays or require any other escalation of care.
"This study demonstrated that children have the greatest propensity to present to the emergency department with burn injuries sustained from hair styling tools," CPT Rozanski said. "Using this information, clinicians have a unique opportunity to provide targeted anticipatory guidance to educate families on the hazard surrounding everyday use of electric hair styling tools in addition to stressing age-appropriate use with and without parental supervision."
More information: Abstract Title: Burn Injuries in Children from Hair Styling Tools Presenting to United States Emergency Departments, 2013–2022: Beauty is More Than Skin Deep