Pediatric Urgent Care for Minor Burns Questions and Answers
The medical professionals at Night Lite Pediatrics Urgent Care can help treat minor burns (non life-threatening) in children. Read our commonly asked questions below.
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What are burns?
There are 3 levels of burns: first-degree burns, second-degree burns, third-degree burns. Burns can range from minor medical issues to life-threatening emergencies depending on the type of burn, severity of the burn and location of the burn.
Burns cause tissue damage as a result of exposure to heat or flames, overexposure to the sun or contact with a chemical or electrical element. Sunburns are the result of unprotected or prolonged exposure to the sun and can happen even if it is cloudy out. Using a combination of clothing, hats, sunglasses and a broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen will help prevent sunburns, particularly in children and infants. Burns and scalds can easily happen at home with everyday objects.
Children should be closely monitored around appliances that give off heat such as ovens and stoves, as well as hair appliances like curling irons. These items can cause the skin to become scalded when it contacts the hot surface. Scalds can also happen as a result of contact with incredibly hot water, either from a kettle or pot, but also from the tap depending on the water setting.
What causes burns?
There are several different causes of burns, but the common burns are classified into four different buckets that describe how they happen. The first is thermal burns. These are burns caused by a thermal-related source such as fires, explosions, scalds and contact with other hot items. Thermal-related sources can include ovens, fires, stoves, fireplaces, flammable liquids, irons and many more. Chemical burns are another common burn that can also be very dangerous. Chemical burns are caused by contact between the body and a harmful substance that is very alkaline or acidic. Chemicals that cause chemical burns can be found in many household items such as gasoline, drain cleaner and paint thinner, among others. The third bucket of burns are electrical. These can be dangerous as sometimes the burn can be inside the body, and not visible from the outside. These burns are typically the result of stun guns, electrical currents in your home or even lightning. One of the most common types of burns are sunburns. Sunburns happen as a result of overexposure to the sun and can have serious consequences.
What are the symptoms of burns?
Burn symptoms will vary depending on how deep the damage from the burn goes into the skin’s surface. In the case of a severe burn, it can take a day or two for signs and symptoms to develop.
Burns are classified into three different levels based on the severity and how deep they go into the skin’s surface.
First-degree burns are minor burns that only affect the other layer of skin, the epidermis. With first-degree burns, people will see redness and probably feel some pain.
Second-degree burns affect not just the epidermis, but also the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. Skin can be swollen and red, white or splotchy at the site of the burn. Pain can be severe, and blisters may develop. Scarring can happen as a result of second-degree burns.
Third-degree burns are the most severe and potentially life-threatening as the burn reaches down below the surface of the skin to the fat layer. Burned skin may take on a leathery appearance and can appear black, brown or white. Numbness is also a potential side effect of third-degree burns, due to the nerves getting destroyed.
Examples of major burns:
- Any burns that cover a large area of the body, a major joint, or the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks
- Deep burns that affect multiple layers of skin
- Burns that leave the skin looking leathery
- Burns that appear to have charred the skin or have black, brown or white patches, electrical or chemical burns or if there is difficulty breathing or the airway has been burned.
When to see a pediatrician for minor burns?
You can visit one of our experienced pediatricians if your child has any signs of infection as the result of a burn, such as increased pain, redness or swelling, or if there is oozing coming from the wound, the burn or blister hasn’t healed in two weeks or is large in size, you are experiencing new, unexplained symptoms or there is significant scarring.
Call us or walk in today for treatment!