Preventing and Treating Burns in Children

Burns are like uninvited guests, especially when it comes to children. These unwelcome visitors can cause pain, panic, and in some cases, indelible scars. This guide will enlighten you on outrunning pesky household burn accidents, treating them like a pro, and recognizing when it’s time to call for reinforcements aka professional medical help.

A Is for Avoiding – Dodge Those Burn Traps

brown wooden mouse trap with cheese bait on top
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Here’s the inside scoop on how to prevent burn fiestas in the first place:

  1. Hot Liquids: Keep scalding concoctions like coffee, tea, or molten lava (just kidding) away from your little ones. Make sure to cook on the back burners and snap those pot handles inwards like a ninja.

  2. Cooking Appliances: Children and unsupervised kitchen gadgets are as harmonious as oil and water. Teach your kids the ropes of cooking safety, and remind them that appliances aren’t toys.

  3. Candles: Keep these waxy flames of mischief out of reach, and never leave your niños alone in a room with an open fire. Teach them the “dos and don’ts” of pyro-etiquette.

  4. Electrical Devices: Arm your home with enthralling socket covers, and make sure your children know that sockets aren’t the place for fork fencing or playing Tarzan with electrical cords.

  5. Chemical Burns: Lock that chemical zoo of household cleaning supplies far, far away. Let your kids in on the chemical secret – those bottles pack a perilous punch.

Stick to these precautionary measures, and your home will be a haven from burn-based catastrophes.

B Is for Bandaging – Tending to the (Minor) Battle Wounds

Nurse treating patient clipart, medical

Oopsie! If a burn does manage to touch down, whip out these trusty steps:

  1. Douse the dragon: Quench that fiery foe with cool water for at least 10 minutes like a boss. Abstain from using ice or frigid water, lest you unleash a bigger beast of a problem.

  2. Crack the burn code: Let’s spy on the categories of burns:

    • First-degree burns: A hop, skip, and a red-hot touch on the outer layer of the skin. Somewhat swollen, ouchy area.
    • Second-degree burns: A double whammy that wheedles its way into the first and second skin layers. Blistered, moist, and extra ouchy.
    • Third-degree burns: The grand finale – all skin layers have been singed. Colors range from black to white with a charred finish, and sometimes painless due to nervy numbness.
  3. Slather on some burn balm: Opt for creams and ointments with aloe vera or antibiotic neomycin for first-degree and select second-degree burns. Not all ointments are kid-friendly, so choose wisely.

  4. Cocoon the burn: Give your burn a cozy blanket of loose, soft gauze or a clean cloth. Avoid tight bandages that cling to the wound and don’t pop those mischievous blisters.

  5. Soothe the suffering: Comfort your child with child-appropriate pain relief medication, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, and remember to follow the dosage directions like a prescription pro.

  6. Keep an eye on that burn: If the healing process feels longer than a snail marathon or you see signs of infection, dial up your healthcare provider.

C Is for Care – When to Rally the Medical Troops

Group Portrait of the 2017 NASA Astronaut Class
Group Portrait of the 2017 NASA Astronaut Class by NASA Johnson is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sometimes, the situation calls for medical backup. Seek professional help if your child’s burn checks any of these boxes:

  1. Larger than a palm-held piece of the sun.
  2. Rockin‘ that second or third-degree vibe.
  3. Strategically placed on the face, hands, feet, nether regions, or joints.
  4. Courtesy of chemicals, electricity, or an extended tête-à-tête with smoldering heat.
  5. Accompanied by difficulty breathing or smoke-inhalation red flags.
  6. Showcasing infection, such as increased pain, a pus party or an angry red zone around the burn.

While we should always put our children’s safety first, tackling burn prevention and being prepared in case of accidents can work wonders in keeping our tots unscathed and thriving.