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Toddlers With Burns Should Also Be Checked for Fractures

Last Updated: January 20, 2010.

Young children with burns suspected to have been caused by abuse should also be routinely evaluated for fractures, according to an analysis published online Jan. 18 in Pediatrics.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Young children with burns suspected to have been caused by abuse should also be routinely evaluated for fractures, according to an analysis published online Jan. 18 in Pediatrics.

Marcus DeGraw, M.D., of St. John's Hospital Children's Center in Detroit, and colleagues retrospectively analyzed data from the Using Liver Transaminases to Recognize Abuse research network on 1,676 children under 5 years of age who were evaluated by child protection teams for suspected abuse. The researchers compared the incidence of fractures in children with burns to those who did not have burns.

Of 97 children younger than 2 years who had burns, the investigators found that 18.6 percent also had fractures, while the rate of fractures among all 1,203 children under the age of 2 years was 53.9 percent. In the analysis, 11 children were found to have multiple fractures, 12 children had fractures with radiographic signs of healing, and two children exhibited classic metaphyseal fractures.

"The rate of fractures in children who present with burns and concerns regarding physical abuse is sufficient to support the recommendation for routinely performing skeletal surveys for children less than 2 years of age," the authors write.

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