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. Burns may also be caused by sunlight and certain chemicals.

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 therefore extremely serious. Serious scarring can result and skin grafting may be necessary if third degree burns are present. They are less painful as the nerves are destroyed.

Tylenol or other over-the-counter pain medications can be used for pain treatment. If a stronger pain medication is necessary, it will be likely that your child should be seen by a physician. While no other treatment may be necessary in first degree burns, second and third degree burns should be seen by a physician.

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 gauze covering on the burn and cover the dressing to prevent it from falling off. Remove the old dressing material daily, wash the wound gently and check 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.