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
Repeated injuries occur.
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,
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
Primary Medical Reviewer
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.