The Impact of Legislation on Gas Can– and Mattress-Related Burn Injuries

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Abstract

Burn prevention program success requires thorough evaluation of intervention outcomes. The impact of 2 engineering-specific burn prevention regulations, the Children’s Gasoline Burn Prevention Act, and the Standard for the Flammability of Mattress Sets will be assessed. Records from 1997 to 2015 within the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) were reviewed. After identifying gas can– and mattress-involved burn injuries, injury incidence was estimated by utilizing survey sampling weights associated with each record. Logistic regression, incorporating estimated injury incidence and adjusting for gender and age, was performed to test for change in injury risk following these regulations. Within NEISS, there were 493 burns involving gas cans, yielding an estimated 19,339 injuries (95% confidence interval [CI], 15,781–22,896) during the 19-year study period. The odds of a gas can burn injury after legislation decreased by 67% for children younger than 5 years (odds ratio [OR], 0.33; 95% CI, 0.16–0.66; P = 0.0018). There was no significant change in risk for persons 5 years and older (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.80–1.41; P = 0.66). During the same time, there were 219 NEISS burns involving mattresses, yielding an estimated 6864 injuries (95% CI, 5071–8658). The odds of a mattress burn injury following legislation enactment decreased by 31% for all ages (OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.51–0.94; P = 0.02). Both regulations decreased the odds of injury in their target populations. This study demonstrates that passive interventions involving engineering standards remain a powerful tool for burn prevention and should be the focus of future efforts to improve burn care.

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