Burn usually refers to skin damage as a result of contact with something hot but can also refer to skin damage due to radiation, electrical, or chemical injuries. Burns from hot liquids are the most common causes of burns in children.

  • Burns can be minor or life-threatening depending on the severity and the location of the burn. Minor burns, such as sunburns, can be handled at home while deeper large burns may need immediate medical attention.
  • Burns are categorized from first to fourth degree depending on the depth of the burn. It ranges from the first degree which is defined as superficial burns that causes redness of skin without blistering all the way to full thickness skin damage that may even involve the tendons, joints, and bone.
  • Any burn in a child less than two years or any burn covering more than 5% of skin or if you suspect smoke inhalation must be evaluated by a provider immediately.
  • Seek immediate help if the burn is affecting the airway or is located on the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or on major joints. Burns that are deep or are caused by chemicals or electricity need immediate attention.
  • Consult a physician if burns are causing pain, not healing, are infected, or have large blisters, etc.


Environment/LifeStyle/ Prevention

  • Prevent sunburns by reducing sun exposure and using appropriate sunscreen SPF of 30 or more.
  • Lower the water heater temperature to 120F.
  • Make sure the fire and smoke detectors are checked and maintained.
  • Cover electrical covers and outlets.
  • Prevent access to any other hazardous materials that can cause burn such as hot liquids, hot stoves, matches, etc.
  • Have a portable fire extinguisher close by.
  • Have an escape plan in case of fire.
  • Drink plenty of liquids.


  • For minor burns use 70% or more Aloe Vera gel.
  • Vitamin C 250 mg 3 times a day.


  • Silver sulfadiazine topical
  • Antibiotics, topical or oral may be used with secondary infection
  • Pain medication may be used as needed

Other Treatment Considerations

  • Honey-topical applied every 2-3 days under a dry dressing
  • Potato peel dressings applied over a thin layer of 5% silver sulfadiazine

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