Preventing and Treating Burn “Ouchies”
Of the many burns that happen across the country each day, children and the elderly are the most likely victims. Too often, kids find themselves on the wrong end of a hot object. Their inexperience leads to injury, both minor and serious. As parents, there are simple things we can do to help prevent these burns from happening.
Statistically speaking, most accidental burns happen in the kitchen. Between ovens, stoves, toasters, microwaves, and hot water, there are basically more chances to get burned in the kitchen than anywhere else in the house. Here are a few things you can do to help your child avoid a burn:
Be sure to stay in the kitchen while any food is cooking.
Do not cook while holding a child.
Turn all pot and pan handles back so they’re not sticking out.
Keep children away from the front of the stove or oven.
Be sure items such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, or clothing are kept clear of hot surfaces.
Hot tap water, steam, hot drinks or food, or hot liquid on the stove can all cause scalding injuries. Studies show that 60% of all scalding injuries are suffered by small children between the ages of 0-4 years old. Once again, many of these burns happen in the kitchen, although the bathtub can be a risk too. To avoid scalding burns:
Test the bath water before putting your child in.
Never leave your child alone in the bathtub.
Check to see what temperature your hot water heater is set at. (120 degrees is recommended)
Keep hot foods and liquids away from the edge of the counter.
Do not use microwaves to warm baby bottles – uneven heating can cause burns in your baby’s mouth.
When drinking hot liquids such as coffee, try to use a cup or mug with a lid if you’re around children.
Treating Minor Burns
We hope that you or your child never experiences a burn, but if you do, here are some ideas for treating minor burns.
Cool the injury by running it under cool water – not ice water! You may need to do this for 10-15 minutes until the pain subsides. Immersing the burn in a bowl of cool water is another option. Remember to avoid ice as it can actually cause further damage.
Cover the burn area with a sterile bandage or cloth. Be careful not to wrap the burn too tightly. Avoid fluffy cotton or other material that might stick to the wound.
Do not apply ointments, creams, butter, or ice to the burn. The only ointments that might be used are ones prescribed by your doctor.
Don’t break blisters. Blisters are actually working to heal the wound. Breaking them can cause infection and prolong the healing process. It can also be painful.
Severe burns need to be treated right away by a doctor.
If your child is burned and the wound looks severe or infected, please bring them to AllKids Urgent Care right away. We’ll be able to quickly assess the injury and recommend the best possible treatment.