Behavior: Burned Child, Seared Parent

Accidental burns among small children are common enough that some hospitals staff special wards to treat them. But are the burns really accidental? Helen L. Martin, a medical researcher at the Burns Unit of London's Hospital for Sick Children, says no. After studying 50 cases over a period of seven months, Mrs. Martin has concluded that most burns are actually the outcome of emotional problems in which the children are innocent pawns.

Mrs. Martin matched the patient traffic in the hospital's Burns Unit, which ranged in age from seven months to 14 years, against a control group of children of the same...

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