Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Most of these burns are from hot water, hot drinks, hot
grease, heating grates, and cigarettes. Usually the burn is
first degree (reddened skin without blisters) or second
degree (with blisters). Neither of these leaves scars.
Second-degree burns take up to 3 weeks to heal. A third-
degree burn is deep and leaves areas of charred skin.
During healing it usually needs a skin graft to prevent bad
Immediately (don't take time to remove clothing) put the
burned part in cold tap water or pour cold tap water over it
for 10 minutes. If you are outside, the nearest garden hose
should be used. This will lessen the depth of the burn and
relieve pain. If the burned area is large, cover it loosely
with a clean sheet. You can also use plastic wrap. The
covering will keep the burn clean and reduce the pain.
Wash the area gently with liquid soap twice a day.
Don't open any blisters--the outer skin protects the
burn from infection. If the burn is second degree, the
blister is broken, and the skin is gone, put an
antibiotic ointment (such as bacitracin or Betadine) on
it and cover it with a Band-Aid or sterile gauze
dressing. Do not put any butter or burn ointments on
the burn. Wash the burn, reapply the antibiotic
ointment, and change the Band-Aid or dressing daily.
For pain put cold wet cloths on the burned area and take
acetaminophen every 4 hours or ibuprofen every 6 hours
for at least 24 hours.
Note: Once the blisters break open, the dead skin needs
to be trimmed off with fine scissors. Otherwise, the
hidden pockets become an ideal breeding ground for
Think about how you can prevent similar accidents in the
future. Also, install a smoke detector.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY IF:
- A blister is larger than 2 inches across.
- The burn is on the face, hands, feet, or genitals.
- It was an electrical burn.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- It starts to look infected.
- It isn't healed within 10 days.
- You feel your child is getting worse.
- You have other questions or concerns.