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Archivos de Pediatría del Uruguay

On-line version ISSN 1688-1249


FERREIRA, María Inés; MAS, Mariana; ORTEGA3, Carlos  and  PREGO, Javier. Lesiones por fuegos artificiales en pediatría. Arch. Pediatr. Urug. [online]. 2013, vol.84, suppl.1, pp.13-17. ISSN 1688-1249.

Introduction: injuries are one of the most common reasons for consultation in the pediatric emergency services. Fireworks are traditionally used in the Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations in Uruguay. The most commonly observed burns at the Centro Hospitalario Pereira Rossell Emergency Department (CHPR-ED) are due to hot liquids, followed by those related to fireworks. Objective: to know the epidemiological characteristics, type and time course of injuries caused by fireworks in children under 15 years of age in Uruguay. Methodology: cross-sectional, observational, descriptive study during a one-month period (15-12-12 to 15-1-13). Variables: patronymic data, type of firework used, circumstances, topography and characteristics of the injury, treatment, course, sequelae, telephone follow-up. Centres included: CHPR, Hospital Militar, Casa de Galicia, Hospital Británico, SEMM, EMEUNO. Information processing was carried out with EPI.INFO 3.5.1. Results: sixty-four children (0,8% of the total consultations) were included. Consultations due to fireworks represented 1,1% of the total consultations in the public subsector; 0,34% of the private consultations and 0,08% of the emergency service consultations. Males 84%; median age and mode, 10 years of age; and median age 8,6 years. The event occurred at home in 70%; while handling the fire in 81% of the children; without adult supervision in 71%. Burns corresponded to 71,9% and were the most frequent lesions, and the hands were the most frequently affected area (52%). The so-called home-made pyrotechnics were the most common cause (56%). Hospitalization occurred in 22%. None of the patients were admitted to the ICU or died. Discussion: when considered separately, the private and public sector consultations showed significant differences (£ 0,05). Hand burns were the most frequent injury, as observed in other published series. Although the sale and use of fireworks is regulated in many parts of Uruguay, there is no strict control of compliance with this norm. Conclusions: lesions related to fireworks are frequent in the public health care sector during the summer festivities. Male adolescent handling home-made fireworks without adult supervision correlate with the most important injuries. Information regarding the correct use, compliance with the current regulations and adult supervision could help to reduce these injuries.


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