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Navigating Burns and Scalds



As your little one embarks on their grand adventure of exploring the world, they're bound to encounter various things, some of which could pose a risk of burns and scalds. It's essential to be prepared and know how to respond when these situations arise. So, let's dive into some practical tips to help you navigate the world of baby burns and scalds.


Burn vs. Scald: Know the Difference

First things first, let's understand the difference between a burn and a scald. Burns are typically caused by dry heat sources like flames, hot objects, or even the sun. On the other hand, scalds occur due to wet heat, such as steam or hot liquids like that piping hot cup of tea you enjoy.


ASAP: Putting Out the Flames

If, touch wood, your child's clothing catches fire, quick thinking can be a lifesaver. Your immediate response should be to roll your little one tightly with a blanket or rug to smother the flames. This action is critical and can help prevent further injury.


Treating a Superficial Scald

For small, superficial scalds, you can provide some first aid. Start by placing the scalded area under a gentle stream of cool running water to alleviate the pain. After rinsing, you can apply an antiseptic solution, like chlorhexidine, to the wound. To protect the wound, use a non-adhesive dry dressing.


Remember, if you have a blister that has broken down, you should avoid removing the skin flaps and refrain from using traditional remedies like powders, toothpaste, or jelly on the wound.


When to Seek Medical Attention

For anything beyond a minor scald, it's crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Children who sustain significant burns, covering more than 5-10% of their body surface area or involving vital areas like the face, may require hospital admission. In such cases, dial 995 for an ambulance without delay.


Dealing with Electrical Burns


Electricity is no friend when it passes through the body which can cause burns. In such instances, there may be surface damage at the point of contact or at the entry and exit points of the electric current. Internal damage could also occur between these points. If your baby has been electrocuted and is unresponsive, here's what to do:

  • Ensure Safety: Your priority is to break the contact with electricity safely.

  • Airway Checks: Open your baby's airway and check they’re breathing normally before treating the burn.

  • Call for Help: Dial 995 for an ambulance immediately.

  • Cool the Burn: Run the burn area under cold running water for at least 10 minutes.

  • Clothing Removal: Gently remove your baby's clothing around the burn unless it's stuck to the wound.

  • Protect from Infection: After cooling, cover the burn with cling film. For burns on the hands and feet, you can use clean kitchen film taped loosely in place.


Remember, accidents can happen, but being prepared and knowing how to respond can make all the difference. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your baby's safety as they embark on their journey of exploration and discovery. You can also participate in our Child First Aid Course to learn more about ensuring the safety of your little ones.

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