(7/17/12) - Although there are many safety measures for preventing burns in children, accidents will happen. If a burn does occur, it is important to identify the degree of the burn and treat it accordingly.
A first-degree burn affects the outer layer of skin only. Your child's skin will be red and swollen, and they will be in some pain. A second-degree burn involves the first and second layers of the skin. Your child's skin will be bright-red, swollen, and blistery, and they will be in severe pain. A third-degree burn involves all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Your child will have a wound that looks charred, black, white, leathery, or waxy. They may not be in any pain because the nerves on the skin are damaged.
The first step is to separate your child from the source of heat as fast as possible. If any part of your child is on fire, wrap them in a blanket, coat, bedspread, or even your own body, and roll them on the ground to extinguish the flames.
If a chemical substance has burned your child's skin, flush the area with cool water for at least five minutes before removing any clothes—this will prevent you from exposing any other parts of your child's body to chemicals. Then, continue flushing the area with water for up to 20 minutes. If the chemical is a powder, brush it off the skin before flushing the area with water.
If your child has experienced an electrical burn, disconnect the power source. If you cannot do that, separate your child from the power by using a nonmetallic object, such as a wooden spoon or a rope. Never use your bare hands.
For more information about burn safety, call Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021 to speak to an Injury Prevention Specialist or visit www.McLeodSafeKids.org.
Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal, led by McLeod Health, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading cause of death in children 14 and under. Safe Kids Pee Dee/ Coastal is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing accidental injury. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.