Fire and burn-related injuries are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and is a serious public health problem in developing countries. Several studies showed causes such as low socioeconomic status, poor living conditions, illiteracy, and floor level cooking, however, very few studies stated severity of the burn injuries to be dependent on ignition of type clothing garment and fabric wore at the time of incident.
A cross sectional observational study done on burn injury patients admitted from February 2014 to August 2016. Data were collected from the patients or their relatives and analysed.
Among 224 burn injury patients, majority were females (59.3%) sustained burn injuries in the study population (p=0.005). Victims wearing long loose flowing garments such as sarees (41.1%), salwar (22.3%), and dupatta (9.8%) were caught fire easily and sustained more burn injuries, compared to clothes reaching down to the knee and short fitting dresses (p=0.004). Percentage of burn was higher among wearers of synthetic fabrics (50.89%) than that of cottons (20.53%, p=0.028].
Every year, thousands of people are injured when their clothing catches fire. The findings reported herein documented that public knowledge about clothing related fire risks was lacking. This can be reduced by bringing about stronger regulations by government and to educate about the magnitude of the problems inflicted by burn injuries and to oversight and to promote less inflammable fabrics to be worn at home, especially in kitchen.