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Child's Healthcare Topics..

 
You are here : home > Child's Healthcare > Managing Emergencies > Burns in Children

Burns in Children


Burns are one of the most common causes of injury to children, yet there are many parents who are still unsure of what to do when their little one burns a finger. Here are some quick first aid tips on treating minor first-degree burns.

First of all, it is important to know the difference between first degree, second degree and third degree burns. 


First Degree Burns

Fisrt degree burns are those that are limited to the outer layer of the skin, causing some redness and pain, but no blistering. A one-second light contact with a hot iron can cause such a burn. 
 

Second Degree Burns

Second degree burns are more serious, as they are thicker, penetrate more layers of the skin, and also involves blistering of the skin. While a first degree burn is dry, a second degree burn is moist, and is more painful. 
 

Third Degree Burns

Third degree burns are those burns in which all the layers of the skin have been penetrated. This is a very severe type of burn and requires hospitalisation. The skin is charred, feels leathery to the touch, and the burned area is usually white. The area may go numb if nerve endings have been destroyed, so your child may feel little or no pain. 
 

Fourth Degree Burns

Fourth degree burns are those that extend down to muscle and/or bone. Fortunately, these burns are rare.
 

First Aid for burns

Cool the burn

Place the burned area under cool, running water. Alternatively, you could dip a cloth in chilled water, and place it on the burn. Do NOT apply ice to the burn, it only increases the pain of the wound and does not help much.  Cool, running water is the best. Keep the burnt area under running water until the pain subsides. 
 

Clothing

Remove any clothing from the burned area immediately. Cut the clothing if you have to. If the clothing is stuck to the skin, which may be the case in second or third degree burns, do NOT remove it. If the burn is caused by a chemical, make sure you don't spread the chemical around when removing the clothing. In addition, in case of a chemical burn, remove the clothing while the burn is under running water.
 

Blisters

Take care not to break any blisters which may have formed as a result of the burn.  
 

Cover

After you have cooled the burn for about fifteen minutes, you may apply an ointment specific to burns, and then cover the burnt area with clean gauze.
 

Eyes

If your child's eyes get burnt, flush the eyes continuously with water, and call a doctor immediately. If your child is wearing contact lenses, remove them. 
 

REMEMBER

The most important thing to remember is to cool the burn, to reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. 

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6 Comments
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Latika.5 years ago
great tips for first aid in case of different types of burns. it is better to be safe than sorry
 
 
 
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Dlema.5 years ago
i had almost the exact same situation unfold in our home about a year ago and instead of spanking or explaining to my child about his playing with mommies hot cigarette, i actually used the hot cigarette to burn a hole in the front of his disposable diaper just to show him how hot a cigarette is and what it can do.
 
 
 
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Kiera.5 years ago
several months ago my nephew who is now 3 years of age took it upon himself to grab my freshly lit cigarette from out of the ashtray and begin to play with it. it took me by such surprise that i spanked him on his thickly padded diapered bottom, then followed up by explaining to him that cigarettes are "hot" and can burn. ever since that day he hasn't gone near my cigarettes.
 
 
 
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Discussion Forum - Recent Posts
Burns are one of the most common causes of injury to children, yet there are many parents who are still unsure of what to do when their little one burns a finger. First of all, it is important to know the difference between first degree, second degree and third degree burns. First Aid For Burns: The most important thing to remember is to cool the burn, to reduce damage to the skin and underlying tissue. Discuss your views on what should be done to avoid injuries!
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