Burns Caused by Heat (Child)

A heat-induced burn (thermal burn) can occur when the skin comes in contact with any heat source. This might be from a cooking pan, an iron, a fire, a hot surface, or a hot, scalding liquid or gas.

Caring for a heat-induced burn in a child

  • Remove the child from the heat source.

  • As quickly as you can, cool the affected area by running cool water over the burn for 5 minutes. Don't rub the burned area.

  • Don't use ice on a burn. It can cause more damage.

  • If a blister has formed, don't break it because this could increase the risk for infection.

  • Protect the burn with a dry, sterile, gauze bandage or with a clean bed sheet or cloth. If the burn is oozing, cover it lightly with a sterile gauze or clean sheet or towel. Get medical care right away.

  • If your child's clothing is stuck to the burned area, don't try to remove it. Instead, cut around the clothing, leaving the burn intact. Get medical care right away.

  • Don't apply any ointments, powders, oils, or sprays to the burned area unless prescribed by your healthcare provider. So-called home remedies such as butter, grease, or powder can actually make the burn worse.

  • If your child has burns on the hand, foot, face, eyes, or groin, or burns that cover a large area, get medical care right away. Or call 911 for emergency medical care.

  • If your child has a small burn in an area not mentioned above, it's OK to give them some acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain if they have no conditions preventing them from taking these medicines.

Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Tara Novick BSN MSN
Date Last Reviewed: 1/1/2023
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