Branding in Children- A Cross Sectional Study at a Tertiary Care Rural Hospital

Author(s): Harsha P.J.1 , Phani Shankar Reddy Aparacharla2 , Hemanth Mogili3 , Prasen Reddy Tamatam4 , Raghurami Reddy O

BACKGROUND Inflicting burns on skin of children or branding is a harmful practice still prevalent in India. This study was done to evaluate the branding practices, both old and new/fresh, in children attending a rural tertiary care hospital. METHODS This is a cross sectional study conducted among children attending Outpatient Department (OPD) and in-patients (IP) of PES Hospital, Kuppam from April 2015 to September 2015. RESULTS A total of 96 children [both out-patients (OPD) and in-patients (IP)] with old and new branding were included in the study. Male babies with branding were 64.58%, old branding marks were seen in 85.54% and fresh branding marks in 11.46%. Four circular branding marks on abdomen (one around umbilicus, one each in epigastric region, right and left lateral side of umbilicus in lumbar regions) was the most common variety observed. New/Fresh branding was done most commonly for children with seizures. CONCLUSIONS Branding is most commonly done in infancy which can be dangerous. Fresh branding is most commonly done for seizures.