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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


What to do when a child gets a Burn


Use the following chart, courtesy of the American Red Cross, to recognize the different types of burns and the treatment for each. We suggest that you print this chart and post it in an accessible place, just in case!

Type of Burn

Common Cause

How to Identify

How to Treat

First-degree Burn Overexposure to the
sun, light contact
with hot objects,
scalding by hot
water or steam.
Redness,discoloration,
mild swelling and pain,
rapid healing
1. Apply a clean cloth soaked in
cold water or submerge the burned
area in cold water.
2. Apply a dry dressing to eliminate
further infection.
Second-degree burn Deep sunburn, contact
with hot liquids, flash
burns from gasoline,
kerosene, and other
types of flammable
products.
Greater depth than
first-degree burn,
red appearance,
development of
clear, water-filled
blisters. There will
be considerable
swelling over a
period of several
days.
1. Immerse the burned part in cold
(not ice water) until pain subsides.
2. Apply dry, sterile gauze or clean
cloth as a protective bandage
3. Do not break blisters or remove
tissue
4. Do not use an antiseptic ointment
or home remedy on a severe burn.

5. If the arms or legs are affected
keep them elevated
6. Consult your child's physician
Third Degree Burn Skin contact with
fire, ignited clothing,
immersion in hot
water, contact with
hot objects and
electricity.
Deep tissue
destruction, white
or charred
appearance (at first
the burn may look

like a second-degree
burn), complete loss
of all layers of skin.
1. Call for emergency help
2. Do not remove adhered
particles or charred clothing.
3. Immerse the burned area in
cool water
4. Apply dry, thick, sterile cloth or
clean gauze to burned area
5. Keep burned feet or legs
elevated (the child should not be
allowed to walk)
6. Have child with facial burns sit
up, or prop them up and keep them
under continuous observation for
breathing difficulty. If respiration
problems develop, an open airway
must be maintained.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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