What to do if you child gets burned
It can happen in the blink of an eye. Your toddler is playing nicely in the kitchen while you’re making dinner; you turn around for what seemed like 2 seconds, and before you know it, they touch a hot pot and get burned. It’s important to know how to care for small burns and what to do in the event of a major burn, should it happen to your child. In this blog we’ll cover minor burn treatments you can do at home, as well as what to do for more severe burns.
Burn care: Minor burn treatment
Basic burn treatment is simple and can help prevent scarring and relieve pain fast. The first step you should take is to run cool water over the burn. Cool water will provide immediate relief from the pain. Do not use cold water or ice, as this can actually make things worse. If soap is needed to clear away dirt, use a mild, unscented soap.
If the burn is causing a lot of pain, keep it under water for up to 15 minutes. Cover the burn with gauze or a bandage. You can use an antibiotic ointment, but do not use oils or fats for burn care. Your child’s burn may blister, if it does, do not pop the blister. For pain relief, give your child acetaminophen or ibuprofen (ibuprofen for infants older than 3 months of age). Remember to follow the guidelines on the bottle for dosage.
When a burn needs more than home care
Small burns that are not severe can be treated at home with the above first aid tips. If a small blister should rupture, place antibiotic ointment on the exposed sick to protect it from infection. If the blistered area is larger, a prescription antibacterial cream, such as silvadene, may be required. If there is any question about treatment, you should speak with your pediatrician or local pediatric urgent care. If the burn is more severe; covers an area larger than 2-3 inches, is on the hands, fingers, feet, face, or groin area, or if your child develops symptoms that indicate the burn area is infected such as fever, oozing from the burn, warmth, swelling, or increasing redness or pain around the burn site see your doctor or take your child to your local pediatric urgent care center. If there is clothing melted onto the skin do not try to remove it yourself.
Call 911 or go to the emergency room if the burn covers more than 10% of the body, if it was an electrical or chemical burn, or if the burn area is white.
As always, if in doubt about where to take your child for care after an accident such as a burn, call his or her pediatrician’s office or your local pediatric urgent care and they can direct you to the best place to have your child checked out.