Thermoregulation during exercise in severely burned children

S. J. McEntire, D. N. Herndon, A. P. Sanford, O. E. Suman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Introduction: Severe burns result in skeletal muscle catabolism and weakness, which is worsened by prolonged physical inactivity. Exercise would be an ideal tool in the rehabilitation of burned children. However, it has been postulated that burned children may have an excessive rise in body temperature during exercise compared to non-burned children, partly due to the reduced area available for heat dissipation, thereby questioning the safety of exercise in burned children. Methods: Children (n = 15) with >40% total body surface area (TBSA) burns and non-burned children (n = 13) successfully completed this study. All subjects completed 20 minutes of treadmill exercise at ∼75% of their peak aerobic power. Tympanic temperature (Ttym), burned and unburned skin temperature were recorded pre-exercise, every 2 minutes during exercise and during recovery. Results: Within burned children, significant differences between the temperature of unburned skin and burned skin, during later stages of sub-maximal exercise (minutes 12-20) were present. However, there were no significant differences between burned and non-burned children in Ttym or unburned skin temperature indicating that severely burned children do not demonstrate an impaired thermoregulatory response to 20 minutes of sub-maximal exercise at room temperatures. Conclusion: It is concluded that exercise at moderate intensities conducted at room temperature is safe in burned children with <75% TBSA burns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006


  • Burns
  • Paediatric
  • Thermal injury
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Rehabilitation


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