A novel study of 30 campfire burn victims, all treated at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, found a high rate of children who were burned by smoldering ashes instead of leaping flames. Released Thursday, the study examined patients younger than 18 and found that 83 percent of them were burned by day-old campfires, often because they tripped or fell hands-first into the ashes.

“Flames from fires are an obvious danger, but our experience suggests that the public is unaware that campfires are still hot enough to cause significant burns 16 hours later, so they are still dangerous the next morning,” said Dr. William Mohr of the Regions burn center.

Twenty-four of the 30 children were toddlers or preschoolers.Three-fourths of the kids were burned so badly that they needed to be admitted to the hospital. A third of the burn victims required skin graft surgeries.

While most suffered arm and hand injuries, a quarter of the patients suffered foot burns from walking across hot embers.

The study by Dr. Mara Antonoff and colleagues was published in the Journal of Burn Care & Research.

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