Exercise Treadmills: A Cause of Significant Hand Burns in Young Children

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A pediatric nurse practitioner and an occupational therapist were impressed by the number and severity of treadmill-related hand burns encountered in their outpatient burn clinic. They observed that treadmill burns appeared to be deeper compared with other contact hand burns. Literature review revealed that research was inadequate in this area. A retrospective chart review was conducted, and a total of 384 patients were found to receive treatments at a regional level 1 pediatric burn center for treadmill and contact hand burns from 2010 to 2014. Age distribution, severity, and negative outcomes were compared between treadmill hand burns and contact hand burns. Recommendations for primary caregivers to prevent treadmill hand burns were given. Treadmill burns were the second most common hand injury mechanism after stovetop burns. Both hot surface contact burns and treadmill burns were more frequently seen in patients 0 to 4 years of age. Treadmill hand burns were more severe than contact hand burns in depth of injury (24.5 vs 1.4% full thickness), need for operative intervention (6.4 vs 0.0%), mean number of burn appointments (4.9 vs 1.9), median time to skin closure (25.2 days vs 11.0 days), and median length of care (51.0 days vs 11.0 days). Treadmill hand burns were frequently seen, and they were more severe and required an increased level and duration of care in comparison with other contact hand burns.

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