How To Quickly Treat a Child With a Second Degree Burn
To give you a quick background into burn ratings, first degree burns are just on the top layer of the skin. A good example of a first degree burn is a sunburn. A second degree burn involves the first two layers of skin and will often result in the skin turning white with varying amounts of blistering. In the home, this type of burn is generally caused by scalding hot water, minimal fire contact, and contact with burning hot items such as pans, burners. Third degree burns are the last type and they are the most serious as they involve all layers of skin, muscle, and tissue. These type of burns are extremely uncommon to happen in the home unless when dealing with a large-scale home fire.
So here’s the scenario. You are making scrabbled eggs on a skillet and when they are done cooking, you remove the skillet off the burner to place the eggs on a plate. Just then you hear a shriek and turn around to see your 2yr old holding their hand up in the air screaming in pain. As it seems, your child placed her hand on the burner just as you turned around to dump the eggs on a plate. Another similar scenario would involve you spilling hot tea on your childs arm.
In both cases, the burn would result in either a minor or major second degree burn but would involve the same treatment.
So here’s how to quickly treat a second degree burn:
- Quickly place the burned area under cool (but not cold) water for roughly 10 – 45 minutes. This helps in stopping the burning process, reducing the blistering, and most importantly easing the pain.
- Gently dry the burned area and apply Polysporin Triple Action with pain relief or similar to help treat the burn and prevent infection.
- Wrap the burned area with gauze.
- Give the child either Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) or both to deal with the pain.
- Seek medical attention.
Many parents who I have spoken with regarding the above treatment have told me that they knew this information only after having to deal with a similar situation above. The important component about the treatment is to get the burn under cool water right away. Don’t think about it. Just get the burn under cool water.
If the child has sustained a second degree burn to a larger area of the body making it harder to submerge under cool water then one option would be to wrap the burn area with a sheet and pour cool water over it (the sheet) until paramedics arrive. This would cool down the burn but more importantly, it would relieve the pain.
This post was submitted to the July 2 Issue of the Carnival of Family Life hosted over at LittleMummy.com
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