Minor burns in children can occur from the extended exposure to sun (radiation burns) or coming into contact with a hot object, surface, or substance (thermal burns). Minor burns are classified as first-degree or superficial burns. These burns are limited to the top layer of your child’s skin. These present with redness, pain, and minor swelling. No blisters occur with this type of burn.
Slightly more severe burns known as second-degree or partial thickness burns, involve the top two layers of your child’s skin. These burns present with redness, blisters, swelling, and pain. Blisters from these burns can sometimes break open revealing a bright red layer of skin beneath.
All burns should be treated immediately to help reduce the temperature of the burn and limit damage to the skin. Minor burns typically heal in 3-6 days, during which time the superficial layer of skin may peel. With that, most minor burns can be treated at home:
- Remove your child from the heat source and take off any clothing present over the burned area.
- Run cold water over the burn for 3-5 minutes – this will help lower the temperature.
- Apply aloe gel or cream to the burn a few times a day, and offer acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
- If your child’s burn blisters contact your physician – don’t break it as doing so can introduce infection.