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First Aid - Treating child burns
23 Nov 2015

First Aid for treating children and babies with burns

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For all parents, one of the biggest concerns is that their child burns themselves. It can happen in a second, but can have a long term impact on a child’s life. Particularly common in the under 5’s, its important that every parent understands what to do – and also takes steps to try to prevent it from happening.

Skin of a baby or child is a lot more sensitive than an adults. We all know how it feels to spill boiling water on us; so can be a lot more serious when it happens to children.

Parents and carers will do their best to prevent accidents from happening, and we hope to be safety conscious, so why are burn injuries so common in young children?

Well, as babies reach 9 months old they start to move about on their own and begin to explore the world around them; grabbing everything in sight to learn more about the world around them.

Common offenders:
Child burn
Mugs of hot drink on coffee tables
Irons with the cord hanging down
Hair Straighteners left on the floor
Oven hobs with overhanging saucepan handles

So what should we do?

1. Cool the Burn – run the effected area under cool water for approx 10 minutes. If you haven’t got water; any cool liquid could help. Even milk would be useful.
2. Once they have settled down and the pain is beginning to subside (not the easiest to establish with children); cover it with cling-film or a plastic bag.
3. Seek medical advice if a baby or child has been burnt. Especially if its due to a naked flame.
child burn cool it
burn - hand
Go to hospital if the burn is bigger than 1sq inch; if the burn goes round a limb; if it involves hands, feet, genitals or the face… or if you aren’t sure what to do!

If you suspect a child has inhaled fumes or smoke, call 999 immediately.

Burst blisters
Rub the burn
Apply lotions or fats
Apply adhesive tape or dressings

Don’t beat yourself up if a child gets burnt; even in the best prepared environment, accidents can still happen. Act fast, reassure your child and seek medical help as soon as possible.

Mother comforting her crying little girl - parenthood concept