A study presented at the 2023 AAP National Conference & Exhibition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center has revealed that electronic hair styling products, such as curling irons, pose a common cause of burn injuries in US households, with a particular impact on young children. The study, titled ‘Burn Injuries in Children from Hair Styling Tools Presenting to United States Emergency Departments, 2013-2022: Beauty is More Than Skin Deep,’ analyzed data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database regarding emergency department visits related to hair styling equipment for individuals aged 24 and younger.
The research findings indicate that between 2013 and 2022, there were an estimated 30,839 burn injuries caused by hair styling equipment, resulting in 1,050 emergency room visits. A significant majority of these injuries, approximately 97.4%, were attributed to curling irons and hair curlers. Among the individuals who sought care in the hospital emergency department, 68% of the injured patients were 10 years old or younger, and 65.1% of them were female. Furthermore, nearly three-quarters of these injuries occurred within the home environment, and an overwhelming 98.6% of them did not require hospitalization or any further escalation of medical care.
“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,” stated 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 450 degrees Fahrenheitt in a matter of minutes, creating potential situations of unintentional burn injury for both the device user and surrounding bystanders.”
This study underscores the importance of awareness and safety measures when using electronic hair styling products, especially in households with young children. The findings highlight the need for increased precautions to prevent burn injuries associated with these commonly used beauty tools.
“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 stated.
“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.”
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