We know that as a parent the safety of our baby is our priority. As cute as babies are, you don’t want to take your eyes off them. But because of their clumsy and curious nature, babies tend to get injured more often. Whether it’s spilling the water or putting their hand in hot water, babies can race your heart in seconds. Burns are one of the major causes of injuries among babies. As they have very tender skin, baby burn, unfortunately, is not uncommon. Baby’s skin 30% thinner than adult skin. It cuts, bruises and burns easily. No matter how small or big a baby burn is, you should start the treatment as soon as possible to help it heal faster. If you delay, the severity of the burn can increase and can also lead to permanent damage to the skin.
Accidents happen when you expect them least! So, if you have a baby or you are expecting one, preparing yourself is very crucial. A complete guide about baby burns is given below.
Baby burn is any damage in the skin tissue of a baby due to heat, electric contact, overexposure to the sun, or chemicals. Scalds, burn from hot liquid or steam are major causes of the baby burn. The common causes of baby burns are:
Burns are painful and frightening for your baby and you panicking won’t help them. So, if your babies get a burn keep your guilt and worry aside and attend to your baby. Things that you should keep in mind while your baby gets a burn are:
Baby burns are classified into three categories. This classification helps you to know the intensity and treat the burn:
This is the mildest burn limited to the outer layer of skin. The area will become red and there can be pain (like in sunburn) or minor swelling. Skin will not have any blisters.
The burn is till the second layer of skin. The area will be red and blistered and it will pain.
This is the most serious burn and the area can be white, leathery, brown, or charred. Depending on nerve damage, there can be pain or no pain.
If your baby has a minor burn like a first-degree burn you can treat it at home. This is what you can do to treat the burn:
Minor baby burns can heal within days. The home remedies for baby burn treatment are:
That sounds like the most important question! Call or go to the doctor if:
Yes, you got to do something while you are waiting for help. If the burn is very serious, call the doctor so they can assist you on the phone. Keep the burn under running cool water for 15-20 minutes. Cover the area with something sterile that does not stick to the burn. Do not use ice, oil, butter, or any other ointment as they can worsen the injury.
Different burns need different types of treatment:
If the sunburn is mild, you can treat it using cool compresses or bathing the baby with cool water. If the baby is having fever, chills, or blisters, then it’s serious and requires hospitalization
Both of them might not have visible symptoms but can have internal damage that requires hospitalization. If it’s an electric burn, make sure to cut off the supply first and then hold the baby. If it’s a chemical burn use a lot of water to wash it off. Call the doctor in both cases
It can be easily treated at home. After cleaning the area, you can apply the burn ointment to babies
Depending on the intensity, the baby might or might not need to be hospitalized. It will need regular dressing by the doctor
It can need longer hospitalization time and skin grafts
Some simple things that you can keep in mind to keep your baby safe from burns are:
It is important to remember that the situation requires you as a parent to keep your calm and think objectively to understand what steps you can take immediately to relieve your baby of the misery. So act quickly and keep all safety measures handy!
Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.