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A major part of the population staying in a nuclear set up there is lots of medical cases due to burns in babies and children. Be it burn from hot water, coffee, electric appliances, or just a hot Tawa. This article gives the required information to handle first aid for burns and scalds.

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Burns and Scalds are different.

  • Burns : Burns are caused by dry heat from a fire, hot iron, or stove.
  • Scalds : Burns caused by steam or hot water  is called a scald.

Types and Severity of Burns :

It is important to know the severity of the burn and hence I shall share the details about the same in simple words. Burns vary in their severity and are usually classified by degrees:

First-degree burns affect just the outer layer of skin. Your little one’s skin will be red and swollen, and she’ll be in some pain.

Second-degree burns involve the first and second layers of skin. Your child’s skin will be bright-red, swollen, and blistery, and she’ll be in severe pain.

Third-degree burns involve all layers of the skin and underlying tissue. Your child would have a wound that looks charred, black, white, leathery, or waxy. She may not be in any pain because the nerves on the skin are damaged. The kid’s body may even go into shock from the heat. In more serious cases, these burns can be life-threatening.

Treating minor or first degree burns:

1. Immediately get the child away from the heat source

2. Remove any clothing – except for any chemical burn caused by bleach, acid, etc

3. Remove jewels if any as metals are the strong conductors of heat

4. Run flowing cold tap water for a minimum of 5 minutes to 10 minutes

5. Pat dry

6. Apply a thin  layer of antibiotic cream

If its oozing cover with gauze cloth or muslin cloth or thin cotton cloth and keep changing it daily

Sit upright or keep the wound above chest level while sleeping too.

Things not to be done

1. Do not overreact – shout or cry – and scare your child further. Stay calm and allow your brain to work efficiently.

2. Do notice as it slows the healing process

3. Do not rub as it increases blisters

4. Do not apply ghee or powder as it can increase the risk of infection

5. Do not break any blisters as it can leave a mark

While running water on the wound ensures to keep other parts of body warm. Otherwise, he may go into shock which is also called hypothermia. Signs of it are shivering, pale skin, fast breathing.

When to visit a doctor

1. If the child is in severe pain you can call and ask for a pain reliever or meet her if suggested

2. If the burn is on face or genitals immediately visit a doctor

3. If you notice severe redness, swelling, pus, big blisters or odor visit doctor immediately


As I always recommend, prevention is better than cure. Many severe burns and scalds affect babies and young children. Examples of things you can do to help reduce the likelihood of your child having a serious accident at home include:

1. Keeping your child out of the kitchen whenever possible

2. Keep electric appliances away from children

3. Testing the temperature of bath water using your elbow before you put your baby or toddler in the bath

4. Keeping hot drinks well away from young children

5. Always keep a watch on babies who are mobile

Especially during festivals like Deepawali, I urge all parents to not use any Fire Crackers for the safety of their children and the wellness of mother earth. If your child is playing with firecrackers or there is an accident I’m sure these recommendations come in handy. 

Video: How to Treat Burns or Scalds in Children & Adults


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