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The isolated burn of the hand is a typical injury in young children and long term sequelae are not uncommon, particularly after flame and contact burns,1 which are more prone to scarring. Children under the age of 11 years are more likely to sustain contact burns.
The paediatric accident and emergency department at St Peter’s Chertsey opened its doors in the year 2000, in that time we have seen two Shrove Tuesdays (27 February 2001 and 7 March 2000) and two Guy Fawkes nights (5 November).
The number of burns treated on the 5 November totalled two cases (0, 2 respectively) and those treated on Pancake Days totalled five cases (2, 3 respectively), over double. The cases attending on Pancake Days were all burns to the hands from hot frying pan handles. Parents were present on all occasions.
Burn prevention programmes2 and general prevention ideas such as school lectures and tests3 need to be improved so as to highlight the risk of burns on any occasion. Regarding frying pans, manufacturers should be made aware of this hazard and look at the possibility of handles that do not conduct heat.