Childhood Burns

There are many situations that occur during childhood in which a child can end up with burns. It is imperative that parents and caregivers be aware of these situations and take necessary precautions to safeguard children from the possibility of burns.

Situations that can cause burns:

Kids can be burned while washing up using water that is too hot.

Kids can become burned by accidental spills from cups of hot coffee, tea, or other hot drinks.

Kids can accidentally be burned while reaching for a pot/pan handle on a stove.

Babies and young children can be burned when placed in bath water that is too hot.

Babies and toddlers can be burned when placed in car seats that are hot are when touched by the metal parts of car seat restraints that are too hot.

Kids can be burned while playing with matches or lighters.

Children can be burned by steam too from cooking fluids, or vaporizers and humidifiers.

Chemical burns can happen when kids can reach chemicals such as drain cleaner, bleach or even watch batteries.

Electrical burns can occur when fingers or other objects are put into electrical outlets.

Another type of burn is sunburn. Children’s tender skin needs to be protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

Children can suffer from three burn categories: first-degree, second-degree, and third degree burns.

The category of burn needs to be determined before first-aid can be given as the type of aid is dependant on the degree of burn.

First-degree burns are the mildest of the three. The symptoms of first-degree burn are redness to the skin, the presence of pain and possible minor swelling to the affected area. The skin may be dry, but there should not be any blisters. First-degree burns affect only the top layer of skin. First-degree burns only require first aid treatment and usually heal within 3 to 6 days. The top layer of skin may peel as the healing begins.

Second-degree burns are more serious than first-degree burns and involve the top layer of skin and the skin underneath the top layer.

The symptoms of second-degree burns are severe pain, blisters, and a deeper red to the skin that is burned.

Second-degree burns take longer to heal than first-degree burns. The length of time for healing depends on the severity of the burn and the amount of area of skin that is burned. If the second-degree burn covers more skin area than what the palm of the hand covers than the burn needs to be attended to by a medical professional.

Third-degree burns are the most serious burns and involve all layers of the skin including underlying tissue.

Symptoms of third-degree burn are white, brown or black, charred looking skin. Little or no pain, and a numb feeling that occur because of nerve damage. Third degree burns require immediate medical attention due to the possible threat of infection, shock and fluid loss. Death can result from third-degree burns especially in those under age four and those who are older than 60.