As summer heats up, your child will have plenty of opportunities to suffer burns: barbecues, sparklers and campfires are but a few of summertime’s burn dangers. In many cases, you’ll be able to treat minor burns in your home with basic first aid.
Most importantly, if the burn penetrates all layers of the skin, is charred, leathery-looking or contains white spots, seek immediate treatment. Additionally, any infant that suffers burns should be taken to the doctor immediately. In many cases, treating typical burned areas is simple:
- Cool the burn by placing it in cool water until the immediate pain subsides. In addition to pain management, this helps pull any excess heat from the wound that could cause further injury.
- Take off any potentially constrictive jewelry immediately. Burns blister and swell quickly, so give all affected areas full freedom of movement.
- Cover the wound loosely with gauze taped to unaffected skin around the burn. This should protect the burn as it heals.
- Do not: puncture blisters or apply ointments. Both can cause an infection that complicates burn treatment. Do not cool the burn with ice, as it may cause additional injury.
- Seek additional help beyond first aid for burns if the burn begins oozing, turns red or pain remains for longer than a couple of hours.
Of course, burned skin is preventable, so practice proper fire safety especially with children around.