- In order to broaden our long-term intervention efforts in elementary schools in Israel (underway since 1988) and to set priorities for further population-specific actions, we compared the pattern of burn injuries among two age groups (0-4; 5-14) of two ethnic groups of Jews and Bedouins admitted to a regional hospital between 1986 and 1995 (n = 1050). The findings indicated a significant downward trend, though somewhat nonlinear, in burn admissions among the older age groups. A relatively less favorable trend was observed for the younger age groups. Consistently across years, burn rates in the younger group of Bedouin children were the highest. For the 10-year period, a significant season by ethnic group variation in burn admissions was observed, with a peak in the spring and in the wintertime for the Jews and Bedouins, respectively. A significant trend of decrease, mostly among older children, in average lengths of hospital stay, was also evident. Yet, regardless of age group and across years, Bedouin children stayed longer in the hospital than Jewish children. The overall leading causes of injury (for 1992-1995) were hot liquids (69%), fire (17%), chemicals (9.5%) and contact (2%). In our view, there is a need to address at-risk populations through environmental, community and family-oriented interventions and to venture beyond the pathogenic factors to the investigation of the salutary factors of health under diverse life conditions.