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How to Treat Burns: Essential Advice for Every Parent

As a parent, one of the most distressing things to witness is your child getting injured, especially from burns. Whether it's from accidentally touching a hot pan, spilling hot liquids, or any other mishap, burns can be painful and frightening. Knowing how to respond quickly and effectively can make a significant difference in your child's recovery.

Here's some essential advice for treating burns, tailored specifically for parents dealing with burns in children.

Assess the Severity

The first step is to assess the severity of the burn. Burns are categorized into three levels.

  • First-degree burns: These affect only the outer layer of skin, causing redness, pain, and swelling. They are usually minor and can be treated at home.

  • Second-degree burns: These affect both the outer and underlying layer of skin, causing blistering, severe pain, and swelling.  

  • Third-degree burns: These are the most severe and penetrate through all layers of the skin, sometimes even damaging muscles, tendons, and bones. They may appear white, charred, or leathery. Immediate medical attention is required for third-degree burns.

Immediate Action

For minor burns (first-degree and small second-degree burns), start by

  • Cooling the burn: Hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water for 10-15 minutes to reduce swelling and pain. Avoid ice or very cold water, as they can further damage the skin.

  • Remove tight clothing and jewelry: If the burn is in an area covered by clothing or jewelry, gently remove them to prevent constriction as swelling occurs.

  • Cover the burn: After cooling, cover the burn with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth to protect it from friction and infection.

Pain Management

Burns can be incredibly painful, especially for children. Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate discomfort. However, always consult with a healthcare professional before giving any medication to children, especially if they are young or have underlying health conditions.

Seek Medical Attention

If the burn is larger than a quarter coin, is located on the face, hands, feet, or genitalia, or if it's a chemical or electrical burn, seek medical attention immediately.


For second-degree burns larger than two inches in diameter or third-degree burns, do not attempt home treatment. Call emergency services or take your child to the nearest emergency room as soon as possible.

Follow-up Care

After initial treatment, continue to monitor the burn for signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or drainage. Keep the burn clean and dry, and change dressings regularly. If there are any concerns or if the burn does not seem to be healing properly, consult a healthcare professional.

Prevention is Key

While accidents can happen, taking preventive measures can greatly reduce the risk of burns in children.

  • Keep hot liquids and foods out of reach of children.

  • Install stove guards to prevent children from reaching hot pots and pans.

  • Set your water heater to a safe temperature (below 120°F or 49°C) to avoid scald burns.

  • Educate children about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters.

In recognition of the importance of first aid in the workplace, we are proud to offer comprehensive courses tailored specifically for corporate environments. Our courses cover a wide range of topics, including first aid for specific injuries, CPR certification, and practical scenarios designed to simulate real-life workplace emergencies. By investing in employee training, companies can ensure that their workforce is equipped with the skills and confidence to respond effectively to any medical situation that may arise.


Burns can be painful and traumatic experiences for children and parents alike. Knowing how to respond promptly and effectively can make a significant difference in the outcome. By assessing the severity of the burn, providing immediate first aid, seeking appropriate medical attention when necessary, and following up with proper care, parents can help their children recover from burns with minimal complications. Additionally, prioritizing preventive measures can reduce the risk of burns in the first place, ensuring a safer environment for children to grow and explore. Remember, when it comes to burns, every second counts – stay prepared, stay vigilant, and keep your child safe.

Author: Muhammad Umar (Hurak)

Instagram: @hurak_com


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