The aim of this report is to provide a brief summary of the literature relating to fire injury among children in developed countries, and to give an overview of unintentional fire-related injury resulting in death or hospitalisation among children aged 0 -14 years in the Auckland region from 1989 to 1998.
A systematic review of the published literature was carried out to address questions relating to fire-related childhood injury. A retrospective population-based descriptive study was undertaken to investigate the epidemiology of unintentional fire-related hospitalisations and deaths among Auckland children (0 – 14 years) from 1989-1998. The study population was children aged 0 – 14 years who died or had a primary admission to Starship or Middlemore hospital during the study period for a fire-related injury occurring in the Auckland region. The exposures of interest included basic demographics, the circumstances surrounding injury, and outcomes of injury.
The home environment (including yard, outbuildings, and driveway) was the most common place of firerelated injury resulting in death (95 percent) and hospitalisation (93 percent). House fires were responsible for 79 percent of fire deaths and eight percent of hospitalisations. Fires in parked cars accounted for 21 percent of fire deaths, and three percent of hospitalisations. House fire deaths were the leading cause of child fire fatalities in this study, consistent with and international study findings. New Zealand.