Treating & Preventing Burns In Toddlers

Burn injuries may occur to a person of any age but babies and toddlers are at a higher risk due to their innocent curiosity about their surroundings.

Fire, accidents while cooking, bath water, hot surfaces, chemicals, and sunburn can cause burn injuries to toddlers. Usually burn injuries are measured in degrees. First degree burns are very mild and only the outer skin is affected with redness or slight swelling. In second degrees burns, the inner layer of skin is damaged which results in blistering and swelling with severe pain. Third degree burn injuries affect the tissue deep below the inner layer of the skin. Third degree burns are very serious. The skin gets charred and turns white.

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Treatment for Toddler Burns

In case your toddler happens to suffer from a burn, you should take the following measures to minimize the damage:

  • Hold the affected area under running water for a few minutes. If for some reason this is not possible, immerse the affected area in cool water for sometime so as to minimize the damage to the tissue.
  • Dry the affected area with a soft towel. Make sure that you do not rub it dry as this would aggravate the sore skin even further; instead pat it dry very gently.
  • Apply a burn cream on it.
  • Take your toddler to the doctor and follow the prescribed treatment strictly. Burns on toddlers should not be ignored as this can cause secondary infections to set in.

Preventing Toddler Burns

Precaution is always better than the cure. Here are certain preventive measures that you must take in order to avoid the incidence of burns in toddlers:

  • Do not hold your baby while preparing or serving hot food.
  • Keep hot food away from your toddler's reach.
  • Do not use a very large table cloth on your dining table. Toddlers tend to pull on the part of the table cloth that hangs over the side and any dishes with hot food would come crashing down.
  • Keep hot teapots and cups away from the reach of your toddler
  • Keep lighters or matches out of the reach of the toddlers.
  • Do not smoke while holding your baby.
  • Before placing your toddler in the bath tub, check the temperature of bath water by a thermometer or by dipping your hand in it. It should not be more than 120 °F.
  • Keep your toddler away from the fireplace. You can use fireplace screens or doors to make sure that your toddler cannot get too close to the fireplace.
  • Do not leave your baby near hot appliances such as an oven, hot iron, or room heater. Unplug these appliances when not in use.
  • Keep all chemicals or acids away from the reach of your toddler.
  • Do not expose your baby to direct sunlight during the midday to protect him from sunburns. Apply a sunscreen lotion at least half an hour before if you need to take your baby out in the sun.
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