The best treatment for burns is their prevention. The most common causes of burns in young children are: scald burns caused by hot liquids overturned by children, excessively hot bath water, and burns caused by heating elements, such as curling irons and stoves. Sunlight and certain chemicals may also cause burns.
Burns are divided into three categories. First degree burns are those which are superficial causing redness but no blistering. They can be uncomfortable but seldom cause major problems. The main goal in treating these burns is the relief of pain.
Second degree burns are those in which there is blistering. These burns are more serious as they can easily become infected. If well treated, they seldom lead to more than minimal scarring.
Third degree burns destroy the entire thickness of the skin and are extremely serious. Deep scarring can result and skin grafting may be necessary. They are less painful as the nerves are destroyed.
Tylenol® or other over-the-counter pain medications can accomplish treatment for pain of burns. If a stronger pain medication is necessary, it will be likely that a physician should see your child. While no other treatment may be necessary in first degree burns, a physician should see second and third degree burns.
Care should be taken not to contaminate the wound with bacteria. If the area is small, wash it gently with soap and water followed by lightly covering it with a topical antibiotic ointment such as triple antibiotic ointment. Next, place a fresh, clean, non-stick gauze covering on the burn and cover the dressing to prevent it from falling off.
Remove the old dressing material daily, washing the wound gently and checking for signs of pus-like drainage, excessive swelling, increased redness or fever, which may indicate the beginnings of an infection. If any of these signs are present, please contact us. If there is a question about the severity of a burn, please call us to discuss the matter.