Background and Objectives

Burn injuries are a significant cause of morbidity among children. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish children are at higher risk for burn injuries. The goal of this study was to examine the clinical characteristics of moderate to severe burns in this population in comparison to the general population in Israel.


This retrospective cohort study included all pediatric patients 0-18 years of age admitted with burn injuries from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2018. Data was collected regarding demography, etiology and clinical characteristics.


Of 778 burns injuries presented to our tertiary center, 385 (49.5%) were hospitalized. Of those 212 (55%) were non-Ultra-Orthodox Jews, 135 (35%) were Ultra-Orthodox Jews, and 38 (10%) were non-Jewish patients. The Total Body Surface Area percentage (TBSA%) of scald-type burns was larger in Ultra-Orthodox compared to non-Ultra-Orthodox children (median TBSA% of 7% Vs 5% respectively(p<0.05)). Among the Ultra-Orthodox group, the median TBSA percentage during weekdays was 6%, and for weekends the TBSA% was 7.5% (p<0.05). Females demonstrated the greatest diversity between subgroups. On weekends, Ultra-Orthodox female’s median TBSA% was 10%, and non-Ultra-Orthodox female’s TBSA% was 4.5% (p<0.05).


Ultra-Orthodox children and especially girls had a significantly higher median TBSA% than non-Ultra-Orthodox children for burns occurring during weekends. This may be the result of the unique cultural norms of the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, in particular, their lifestyle and observation of the Sabbath. These findings provide focus for better intervention and prevention of pediatric burns among this unique population.

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