There are many cases causing burns for children. However, if parents don’t know how to do first aid for children, it can make the situation become worse. When children are burned, if parents do first aid improperly, the wound can be infections that leading to more extremely dangerous consequences. Some minor burns can be treated safely at home while other large burns need medical care. Parents should learn about first aid for all burns to take care of their children from being burned.


Babies or young children are very naughty, they can be burned if parents don’t pay attention on watching them. As children’s skins are thinner than adults therefore these burns can cause more dangerous consequences. There are many reasons for children who being burned. However, scald burns by hot water and fire are the most common burns with higher percent occupied than scald burns by electricity, chemicals… To avoid bad cases may happen when children get burns, parents need to know how to do first aid for all burns.

1. ​Isolate the heating sources

​In case your children are burned, first of all, parents have to take the child away from the burning area and make sure the location is safe for both of your children and you such as go away from the fire, or power sources or chemical…) Talk to your children to keep them stay calm. Make sure that children don’t touch the burns by their hands or anything because the burns will be spread or infection.


2. Remove children’s clothes and jewelry

If children spilled hot water into their clothes, parents need to undress the children to prevent them from more severe burns. In case of chemical burns, remember to flush burned area with cool water for few minutes (at least 5 minutes) before removing clothes. Parents should remove children’s clothes slowly and prevent to touch other burns on their bodies. When children are burned in their hand, remember to take off their watches immediately. One of the most important things that need to be noted is if the clothes were stuck at the burned area, parents should not try to remove it. It should be soaked in cold water and then clothes will be removed by itself or leave it in place and cut away the clothing around it.

3. Do first aid by clean and cool water

When children got minor burns, parents should use cold running water to cool the burns to prevent the skin from blistering by put burned area under opening faucets to drain slowly about 15-20 minutes. Clean water has many benefits such as cool effect, relieve pain, reduce swelling, infection and the depth of the wound. Do not use cold water or ice (in the refrigerator) for cooling the skin for children. As children’s skins are sensitive when being burned, they can suffer cold burns if they contact with low temperatures. Do not apply ice packs, toothpaste, butter or oil… to the burns because it will cause the infection. After that, estimate the severity of the burns to determine children stay at home or go to hospital.


4. Protect the burned area​

​Cover the burns with a gauze bandage. Parents can use clean clothes, clean sheet or tea towels if they don’t have gauze.

​5. Pay attention when children being burned at sensitive areas

​In the case of children suffering burns in their eyes, mouth or genitals, parents must take them to the nearest hospital immediately, even they just got minor burns. If the burns are bigger than adult hand with blistering or twenty cent piece, children should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible.

Nancy D. Richardson

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