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Burns in children from domestic accidents are very common. Sometimes, an oversight of the parents With an iron on, a ceramic hob, a stove or the fireplace can cause a burn in children, who are attracted by the light given off by the heat source and feel the urge to touch it.
Faced with a domestic accident, which results in a burn, how should we act? The doctor Juan Jesús Hernández, head of the Health Plan of the Department of Health and Relief, of the Red Cross, in an interview with our site, he answers all our questions.
How can we distinguish a minor burn from a serious one that requires medical assistance?
There are different factors that help us to know the severity of the burn. One of them is the extension: it is clear that the more amount of burned body surface we have, logically more serious is the burn.
Burns are also rated by depth, which is measured by the thickness of the skin that is affected by that burn. We are talking about three fundamental degrees: first degree burn, which is a superficial burn where basically what we see is that the skin is red; a second degree burn, where there is a greater affectation of the thickness of the skin and the typical lesion is the blister, the flictena.
And one third degree burn or full thickness burn, in which the entire thickness of the skin is altered and the skin is blackened like leather, even sometimes, there is a loss of sensitivity due to the destruction of the skin and all those nerve endings that we have in she.
To assess severity, one must also take into account the age: the smaller the child, the more serious the burn will be; location: a burn on the back of the hand is not the same as, for example, on the face, not only because of the problems that scars may have, but also because of the vascularization problems that these areas may have.
How the burn was caused, if there is an associated trauma or, for example, if there is an underlying disease such as diabetes, it can make the burn prognosis worse.
What should we never do when caring for a burn in a child?
In the case of burns it can be puncture the blisters, thinking that in this way we are going to accelerate healing, and what we are doing is creating a wound where there was none and increasing the risk of infection.
Another common mistake is to apply ointments or household items such as toothpaste to the bed of the burn, for example, seeking a cooling effect, which will then create problems of skin irritation and healing.
In addition, when we have to clean that wound, it will be very painful to remove or remove that toothpaste or ointment that we have applied. In fact, in general and together with this, a common failure is to use pharmacological treatments with children within what is a wound care.
Medicines or antibiotic ointments, for example, are treatments that should indicate the medical staff and that the parents or guardians of the children cannot decide that it should be administered.
Is it advisable to always use an antiseptic to treat a burn?
The antiseptic is a co-helper in the treatment of the wound, it will help us to prevent the wound from becoming infected. Fundamentally, it is a preventive treatment that we use to prevent the wound from becoming infectedIt is not a treatment of the infection as such, but it can help us as a collaborator of the best procedure, which is washing with soap and water. The antiseptic will give us an added security once we have managed to have the wound clean to prevent it from becoming infected.
Do we have everything we need in the home medicine cabinet to heal our son?
The most important part of a medicine cabinet has to be all the material related to the healing and treatment of wounds.
This means that in the medicine cabinet we will have sterile gauze, gloves, they do not have to be sterile, but it is a good measure for our own protection, tape of different sizes hypoallergenic, band-aids of different sizes or of those that can be cut to adapt them to the wound, small bottles of physiological saline to clean a wound, an antiseptic and bandages of different sizes. And it must be taken into account that medication is not included in a basic first aid kit, but that does not mean that we do not have to have medication at home.
Possibly, our pediatrician will have recommended a series of drugs that we can use when the child has a fever, based on paracetamol or ibuprofen, and that will be part of this kit. It is very important that the medicine cabinet is in a place away from children, locked, so that they cannot access.
I also recommend that, not inside the medicine cabinet, but if in an area that we all know where it is, the health cards of our children are found so that if, at any given moment, we have to run to the hospital we can quickly access the health cards. Up-to-date vaccinations and, of course, all those medical reports of more or less important diseases that our son has had over the years.
You can read more articles similar to Burn wounds on the child's skin, in the First Aid category on site.