Most burns are accidental. But some burns may not be accidental. Intentional burns, such as immersion in a bathtub of hot water, can occur in abuse situations. Suspect physical abuse of a child or vulnerable adult when:
Any injury cannot be explained or does not match the explanation.
Repeated injuries occur.
Explanations change for how the injury happened.
You may be able to prevent further abuse by reporting it.
If you suspect child abuse, call your local child protective agency, police, or a health professional (such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor).
An intentional burn can also occur when a person burns himself or herself (self-inflicted burns). The person with a self-inflicted burn will need a mental health evaluation as well as medical treatment.
It is important to have intentional burns evaluated by a health professional.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD, MMEd, FRCPC - Emergency Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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