Treating Burns and Scalds in Children
Call 911 if:
- The burned area is charred or white.
- Electric shock or chemicals caused the burn.
- The burn is on the face, hands, feet, genitals, or a joint.
- The burn covers 10% or more of the body.
You can treat mild 1st degree burns -- those that look like sunburns -- at home. Second- or 3rd degree burns need immediate medical attention.
Call Doctor If:
- The burn is oozing or seems infected (red, swollen, tender).
1. Soak the Burn
- Immediately put the burned area in cool -- not cold -- water or under a faucet.
- Keep the injury in water for at least five to 15 minutes.
- Do not use ice.
2. Remove Burned Clothing
- If the clothing is stuck to the skin, do not peel it away. Leave it in place and cut away the clothing around it.
3. Cover the Burn
- Use nonstick gauze or a clean cloth.
- If the burn is mild, you may put on antibiotic ointment.
- Don't put butter, grease, or anything else on the burn, and do not pop any blisters.
4. Reduce Pain
- Use an infant or child-strength over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin).
- Follow the dosing instructions on the bottle.
- Call a pediatrician first if your child has never taken this medication before.