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Pediatric head and neck burns increased during early COVID-19 pandemic

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Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology

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Article

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Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe patterns of burns to the head and neck in children during the early COVID-19 pandemic. Study design: This cross-sectional study reviewed pediatric patients in the Burn Care Quality Platform Registry. Patients were included if they were ≤17.9 years old and had sustained burns to the head and neck. Patients were separated into the following groups: March 13 to September 13, 2019 (before COVID-19 pandemic, BC) or March 13 to September 13, 2020 (during the initial 6 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, C19). The study team collected patient-related variables, details regarding burn injury, burn severity, and hospital course. Univariate and bivariate analyses were calculated. The chi-squared test was used for categorical variables. Statistical significance was P < .05. Results: Fifty-five children with head and neck burn injuries were included. There was a 200% increase in burns to the head and neck region in children in April 2021 compared with previous year. Burns to head and neck in White children occurred more often during C19 (P = .03). The study revealed differences in timing of presentation (time of burn injury to emergency department admission) in different racial groups during (White children [P = .05]), and after the pandemic (African American children [P = .02]). Conclusions: There was a transient increase in burns to the head and neck region in children during the early pandemic compared with the historic cohort.
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