Abdominal Pain - Female
Abdominal Pain - Male
Acne
Animal or Human Bite
Antibiotics: When Do They Help
Arm Injury
Arm Pain
Asthma Attack
Athlete's Foot
Back Pain
Bed Bug Bite
Bee or Yellow Jacket Sting
Blisters
Bottle-Feeding Formula Questions
Breast-Feeding Questions
Bruise
Burn
Chest Pain
Chickenpox
Circumcision Problems
Colds
Constipation
Cough
Coughs: Meds or Home Remedies
Cracked or Dry Skin
Cradle Cap
Croup
Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old
Crying Child - 3 Months and Older
Cut, Scrape, or Bruise
Diaper Rash
Diarrhea
Diarrhea Diseases From Travel
Dizziness
Drinking Fluids - Decreased
Dry Skin
Ear - Congestion
Ear - Discharge
Ear - Injury
Ear - Pulling At or Rubbing
Ear - Swimmer's
Ear Infection Questions
Earache
Earwax Buildup
Ebola Exposure
Eczema
Emergency Symptoms Not to Miss
Eye - Allergy
Eye - Foreign Body or Object
Eye - Injury
Eye - Pus or Discharge
Eye - Red Without Pus
Eye - Swelling
Fever
Fever - How to Take the Temperature
Fever - Myths Versus Facts
Fifth Disease
Finger Injury
Fire Ant Sting
Flu
Fluid Intake Decreased
Food Allergy
Foreskin Care Questions
Frostbite
Genital Injury - Female
Genital Injury - Male
Hair Loss
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease HFMD
Hay Fever
Head Injury
Headache
Heat Exposure and Reactions
Heat Rash
Hives
Human or Animal Bite
Immunization Reactions
Impetigo - Infected Sores
Infection Exposure Questions
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza Exposure
Insect Bite
Jaundiced Newborn
Jellyfish Sting
Leg Injury
Leg Pain
Lice - Head
Lymph Nodes - Swollen
Medication - Refusal to Take
Mental Health Problems
Molluscum
Mosquito Bite
Mosquito-Borne Diseases from Travel
Motion Sickness
Mouth Injury
Mouth Ulcers
Neck Pain or Stiffness
Newborn Appearance Questions
Newborn Illness - How to Recognize
Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks
Newborn Reflexes and Behavior
Nose Allergy Hay Fever
Nose Injury
Nosebleed
Penis-Scrotum Symptoms
Pinworms
Poison Ivy - Oak - Sumac
Puncture Wound
Rash or Redness - Localized
Rash or Redness - Widespread
Reflux Spitting Up
Ringworm
Roseola
Scabies
Scrape
Sinus Pain or Congestion
Skin Foreign Body or Object
Skin Injury
Skin Lump
Sliver or Splinter
Sore Throat
Spider Bite
Spitting Up - Reflux
Stomach Pain - Female
Stomach Pain - Male
Stools - Blood In
Stools - Unusual Color
Strep Throat Exposure
Strep Throat Infection
Sty
Sunburn
Suture Questions
Swallowed Foreign Body or Object
Swallowed Harmless Substance
Swimmer's Itch - Lakes and Oceans
Tear Duct - Blocked
Teething
Thrush
Tick Bite
Toe Injury
Toenail - Ingrown
Tooth Injury
Toothache
Umbilical Cord Symptoms
Urinary Tract Infection - Female
Urination Pain - Female
Urination Pain - Male
Vaginal Symptoms
Vomiting With Diarrhea
Vomiting Without Diarrhea
Warts
Wheezing Other Than Asthma
Wound Infection

Resources

Is Your Child Sick?TM


Burn

Is this your child's symptom?

  • Burns to the skin
  • A burn is a heat, chemical or electrical injury to the skin

If NOT, try one of these:


Causes of Burns

  • Hot Liquids. Hot liquids (such as coffee) are the most common cause of burns. They cause a scald.
  • Hot Surfaces. Examples are ovens, stoves, space heaters and curling irons.
  • Chemical Burns (Serious). Examples are acids or lye splashed on the skin. They continue to damage the skin until they are removed.
  • Electrical Burns (Serious). They can be much deeper than they first appear.
  • Flame Burns (Serious). Flammable liquid burns are mainly seen in teen boys.
  • Friction Burns. Treadmill burns are a common example.
  • Sunburn is not covered here. See the Sunburn care guide.

Degrees of Burns

  • 1st degree. Red skin without blisters. These burns don't need to be seen.
  • 2nd degree. Red skin with blisters. Heals from the bottom up, not from the edges. Takes 2 to 3 weeks. Small closed blisters decrease pain and act as a natural bandage.
  • 3rd degree. Deep burns with white or charred skin. There are no blisters. Skin feeling is lost. Heals in from the edges. Grafts are often needed if it is larger than a quarter in size. These are burns over 1 inch or 2.5 cm. Skin grafts help limit scarring.

When to Call for Burn

Call 911 Now

  • 2nd or 3rd degree burn covers a large area
  • Trouble breathing with burn to the face
  • Trouble breathing after being near fire and smoke
  • Hard to wake up
  • Acts or talks confused
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Eye or eyelid burn
  • Burn goes all the way around an arm or leg
  • Center of the burn is white or charred
  • Electrical burn
  • Explosion or gun powder caused the burn
  • Chemical burn (such as acid)
  • Coughing after being near fire and smoke
  • House fire burn
  • Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Burn looks infected
  • You think your child has a serious burn
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Blister is present (Exception: Small closed blister less than ½ inch or 12 mm size)
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Minor burn and last tetanus shot over 10 years ago
  • Burn not healed after 10 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor heat or chemical burn
  • Blisters less than ½ inch (12 mm) size

Call 911 Now

  • 2nd or 3rd degree burn covers a large area
  • Trouble breathing with burn to the face
  • Trouble breathing after being near fire and smoke
  • Hard to wake up
  • Acts or talks confused
  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor Now or Go to ER

  • Eye or eyelid burn
  • Burn goes all the way around an arm or leg
  • Center of the burn is white or charred
  • Electrical burn
  • Explosion or gun powder caused the burn
  • Chemical burn (such as acid)
  • Coughing after being near fire and smoke
  • House fire burn
  • Severe pain and not improved 2 hours after taking pain medicine
  • Burn looks infected
  • You think your child has a serious burn
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Blister is present (Exception: Small closed blister less than ½ inch or 12 mm size)
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Minor burn and last tetanus shot over 10 years ago
  • Burn not healed after 10 days
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor heat or chemical burn
  • Blisters less than ½ inch (12 mm) size

Care Advice for 1st Degree Burns or Small Blisters

  1. What You Should Know About Burns :
    • Minor burns can be treated at home.
    • This includes some small blisters.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Cold Pack for Pain:
    • For pain, put a cold wet washcloth on the burn.
    • Repeat as needed.
  3. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  4. Clean the Burn:
    • Wash the burn gently with warm water.
    • Do not use soap unless the burn is dirty. Reason: Soaps can slow healing.
  5. Closed Blisters - Don't Open:
    • Don't open any small closed blisters.
    • The outer skin protects the burn from infection.
  6. Antibiotic Ointment for Open Blisters:
    • For any broken blisters, use an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin). No prescription is needed.
    • Then cover it with a bandage (such as Band-Aid). Change the dressing every other day.
    • Each time, clean the area. Use warm water and 1 or 2 gentle wipes with a wet washcloth.
  7. What to Expect:
    • Most often, burns hurt for about 2 days.
    • It will peel like a sunburn in about a week.
    • First- and second-degree burns don't leave scars.
  8. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Severe pain lasts over 2 hours after taking pain medicine
    • Burn starts to look infected (spreading redness, pus)
    • Burn not healed after 10 days
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.


Copyright 1994-2017 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC. All rights reserved.

Burn - First Degree

The photo shows a 6 inch (15 cm) wide area of mild redness without blistering on the forearm. This thermal burn was caused by spilled hot water

First Aid Care Advice:

  • Immediately put the burned part in cold tap water or pour cold water over it for 10 minutes or cover with a cold wet washcloth.
  • Reason: This lessens the depth of the burn and relieves pain.
First Aid - Burn - Thermal
  • Immediately put the burned part in cold tap water or pour cool water over it for 10 minutes (Reason: lessen the depth of the burn and relieve the pain) .
  • For burns on the face, apply a cold wet washcloth.
  • Do this immediately (don't take time to remove clothing).

Note: A thermal burn is any burn caused by heat.

First Aid - Burn - Chemical
  • Remove any contaminated clothing.
  • Brush any dry chemical off the skin.
  • Flush the chemical off the skin with warm water for 10 minutes.
  • For large areas, use the shower.

Select from over 100 symptoms to learn about managing your child's illness.