Childr Health Information

Burn Prevention and First Aid for Burns

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Topic: General Child Health

This handout was written to answer some of the questions about preventing burns. Burns are the third leading cause of injury in children ages 1-18 years. In the U.S. and Canada, there are more than 1.5 million burn injuries each year.

There are many burn hazards in the home. Fortunately, you can do much to protect your child with a few extra steps:

♦ Turn pot handles inward so children can’t pull them down.
♦ Keep appliances toward the back of the counter. Keep cords coiled and away from the front of counters. Replace long cords with short ones.
♦ Never leave hot foods unattended.
♦ Do not let children pour or handle hot liquids.
♦ Keep children at a safe distance while handling or pouring hot liquids.
♦ Seat children at the table only after all food has been served and keep food out of their reach.
♦ Make sure microwaved food is cooled before giving it to a young child. Stir thoroughly. NEVER heat baby bottles in the microwave.
♦ Keep hot appliances away from children.
♦ Do not store food above the stove. A child may reach over a hot stove to get some food.

♦ Turn hot water heater temperature to 120° F or less. Recommended water temperature for young children is 90° F to 102° F.
♦ Do not leave a child unattended in the bathtub.
♦ Keep cleaning chemicals out of children’s reach.
♦ Keep electrical appliances away from the tub – especially when there is water in it.
♦ Always dry hands before touching an electrical appliance. Never leave these plugged in with children unattended.
♦ Keep curling irons away from small children and turn curling irons off after use.

♦ Keep lamps away from baby’s crib. A child might pull it down.
♦ When using a cool mist vaporizer, use at a safe distance from the child. Avoid using a heat-mist vaporizer.
♦ Never leave an infant (old enough to roll) on an adult bed/mattress that is close to a radiator or space heater. Make sure space heaters are equipped with an automatic shut-off switch that will disconnect power if accidentally tilted. Don’t use a space heater in the bedroom. If you need heat, place heater outside door pointed toward area to be heated. Make sure cord can’t be stepped on with wet feet. Keep away from flammable materials.
♦ Never leave a child alone (especially during crawling stage) in a room with electrical cords plugged into wall sockets. The child may bite the cord or suck on ends and get an electrical burn. Use outlet covers for all unused outlets to keep children from poking things into the sockets.

Immediate response and treatment will help minimize injuries from burns. Memorize these tips – they may save your child’s life:
♦ Stop the burning process – remove the source of heat. If clothing catches fire, STOP-DROP AND ROLL.
♦ Remove all burned clothing since it may keep heat in and cause a deeper burn. If clothing sticks to the skin, cool the material or cut or tear the material around the burned area to preserve good skin.
♦ Pour cool water over the burned area. Keep pouring at least three to five minutes (30-40 minutes for chemical injury). Never put ice or cold water on a burn. That will lower the body temperature and make the burn worse.
♦ Remove all jewelry, belts, tight clothing, metal, etc. from the burned areas and around the victim’s neck; swelling of burned areas occurs immediately.
♦ DO NOT APPLY ointments, creams or salves to wounds. They may cause infection (due to their oil base) and can make burns worse. These creams hold heat and have to be washed off by a doctor. This causes the patient additional discomfort.
♦ Cover the burns with a soft, clean, dry dressing, bandage or sheet.
♦ Cover the victim to keep him or her warm.
♦ Get medical attention as soon as possible.

Depending on the seriousness of the burn and its cause, treatment may vary. Here’s how to treat different burns:
♦ Minor burns. Keep clean. Wash gently with a mild soap. Use an antiseptic spray or cream (this kind of cream on minor burns is OK) to help relieve pain and prevent infection. Cover with a clean (or sterile) dry dressing. If wounds are not healing, appear weepy or smell bad, seek medical help.
♦ Electrical burns. DO NOT touch the person who is in contact with electricity – you will be injured. Disconnect the power source or call for assistance from the power company. Begin first aid after the power source is disconnected. Primary concern is the airway, breathing, circulation and keeping the spine stable. Next, look for other injuries.
♦ Chemical burns. Protect your self from contact with the chemical. Read the container/label information or call the poison control center (222-2227 or 1-800-762-0727 outside Montgomery County) before giving first aid for specific chemical reactions.
♦ Dry chemicals. Brush as much chemical off as possible and remove it from around the patient. Pour water over the affected area for at least 20 to 30 minutes or until a medical professional tells you to stop. Remove the child’s clothing, including shoes, before flushing with water. If the chemical is near or in the patient’s eye, check for contact lenses, which should be removed before pouring water in the eye. Don’t flush parts of the body that are not contaminated.

PDF: Burn Prevention and First Aid for Burns

Derechos de autor(c) de The Children's Medical Center, ano 1999. Este material unicamente tiene fines educativos. No puede ser reproducido, distribuido ni modificado sin previa autorizacion de The Children's Medical Center of Dayton, One Children's Plaza, Dayton, Ohio, 45404-1815. Llame al 937-641-3666 para solicitar autorizacion o para obtener un juego maestro para copias. Para obtener mas informacion puede visitar (consulte la seccion de informacion legal).

La informacion contenida en este material es unicamente informacion de tipo general. No debe considerarse como completa. Para obtener mas informacion acerca de los complementos para leche materna, por favor pidala a su doctor.

The information contained in this handout is for general information only and should not be considered complete. For specific information about bathing your baby, please ask your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Additional information may be located in the Family Resource Center, 2nd floor, near the Outpatient Surgery Center. Hours of the center vary; please contact the Family Resource Center at 937-641-3700.

Copyright(c) The Children's Medical Center of Dayton. This material is for educational purposes only. It cannot be reproduced or distributed without permission from Dayton Children's.


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