First Aid: What every parent should know about treating burns

Apps by Annie

The top culprit is scalding from hot liquids in the kitchen. There are a lot of ways to prevent children from getting burns, but when it does happen, it never hurts to be prepared, right?

Burns vary in their severity and are classified by degrees. First degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin, leaving it bright-red, swollen, blistery and painful to the touch. Second degree burns affect the first and second layer of the skin and also leave the skin bright-red, swollen, blistery and painful.

Third degree burns involve all layers of skin and underlying tissue. The wound looks charred, black, leathery or waxy, but your little one may not feel any pain due to  nerve damaging. You should always leave treatment of third degree burns up to a professional.

Treating minor (first degree and small second-degree burns) in children

  1. Remove clothing from the injured area.
  2. Flush cool water over the affected area for several minutes until there seems to be less pain. You could also put a wet washcloth over the burn until the pain subsides. Don’t apply ice, egg yolk, butter or any other substance.
  3. Pat the skin dry and cover it with a sterile bandage to protect the skin.
  4. Never break blisters, you may make the wound more vulnerable to infection.
  5. Call the doctor and consult with him your next steps. Minor burns usually heal within a few weeks without major problems.

Treating large (second-degree and small third-degree) burns in children

  1. Call a doctor as soon as possible. Call 911 immediately in case of severe burns.
  2. Remove the clothing only if it doesn’t stick to the flesh.
  3. Lay your child flat and raise the burned parts above their chest level to lessen the pain.
  4. Apply a cool washcloth for as long as necessary to keep the wound cool. If the wound is large, do not put large areas of the body into cold water or you risk causing shock.
  5. Cover the area with a sterile cloth or bandage. Prevent shock by keeping your child warm and comfortable.

Remember that accidents happen to even the most cautious parents. The key is to be prepared for anything. As with burns, it’s always good to call a doctor in less serious cases and 911 when you feel the burns are severe. What measures do you take to prevent your baby from getting burnt?