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Tips for Treating Children’s Burns

Tips for Treating Children’s Burns

Burns and fires are a leading cause of injury and accidental death in children and adults, and account for an estimated 3,275 adult and child deaths per year.

To help ensure you know what to do in case of a burn or thermal injury, LVHN has these tips:

Caring for a heat-induced burn

  • Remove your child from the heat source.

  • Cool the affected area with cold water or cold compresses until the pain is reduced or relieved.

  • If a blister has formed, do not break it.

  • Protect the burn with a dry, sterile gauze bandage or with a clean bed sheet or cloth.

  • If your child’s clothing is stuck to the burned area, do not attempt to remove it. Instead, cut around the clothing, leaving the burn intact. Seek medical care right away.

  • Do not apply any ointments, oils or sprays to the burned area.

  • If your child has burns on the hand, foot, face, eyes or groin, or a burn that covers a large area, seek medical attention or call 911 for emergency medical attention.

Caring for an electrical burn

  • A doctor should treat any electrical burn. Electrical burns cause damage to body parts below the skin that are not visible on the surface. Call 911 for emergency medical assistance.

  • Unplug the appliance or device that caused the injury or turn off the electrical current.

  • If your child is in contact with the electrical current, do not touch him or her until you turn off the source or the circuit breaker.

  • Check if your child is still breathing. If he or she is not breathing, begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

  • Cover the burned area with a sterile gauze bandage or clean bed sheet.

  • Do not give your child anything to eat or drink.

  • Place your child on his or her back, unless you suspect a neck or back injury. If it is, do not move your child until paramedics or emergency medical personnel arrive.

  • If your child vomits or has a serious injury to the face or mouth area, place your child on his or her side.

  • Keep your child warm with blankets or extra clothing, not a heat source.

A little knowledge on your part goes a long way to help your child be as safe as possible in case of burns.

Visit LVHN.org/children to learn more about how Lehigh Valley Health Network cares for children and to find a doctor in our network.