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What you should do when children are burned

Updated: 2022-11-29


What should parents do when their children are burned by boiling water, steam, hot oil or open flames?

1. If your child is on fire, help him/her roll on the spot to put out the fire, or cover the fire with a quilt, blanket, etc. to isolate the air.

2. Flush the wound immediately with lukewarm running water for 15-20 minutes. It is fine to do this through clothes. You should immediately cool the wound, which can reduce the deep damage to the skin tissue. This is the most critical step. But be warned, do not apply ice or very cold water to the wound.

3. When rinsing, remove the clothes on the surface of the wound, but do not force them off. You can cut the clothes with scissors to avoid breaking the blisters, and give up if you cannot take them off. Never forcibly break the blisters, or even tear off the flesh, which will aggravate the injury.

4. Continue to soak the wound in lukewarm water for 10-20 minutes to further dissipate heat and relieve pain. If the burn area is large, it is not advisable to soak it for too long. Other body parts should be kept warm.

5. Cover the wound with sterile gauze or clean towels and fix it in place to keep the wound clean, as well as reduce the risk of infection.

6. Send the child to the nearest hospital for treatment if the child's wound is relatively large or in a sensitive area, and the wound is swelling and reddening or whitening or yellowing. This is done to avoid the serious consequences of deep burns.


1. Do not apply vegetable oil, toothpaste, soy sauce, cough syrup, etc. onto the wound. It will not only cause infection, but also prevent doctors from observing the severity of the burns and scalds, and increase the difficulty of cleaning the wound.

2. Use lukewarm water with a temperature similar to the room temperature for rinsing and soaking. Ice compresses should not be used. The water flow should not be too swift, in order not to break the blisters. If the scalded area is on the face and it is not convenient to flush with water, soak a towel with lukewarm water and apply a cold compress (not with ice).

3. After a child is burned, parents should not panic. Effective early treatment can reduce the damage and provide a better outcome.

Pediatric Surgery Department of the Chongqing Health Center for Women and Children (Women and Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University), or CQHCWC

Address: Area D, First Floor, Outpatient Department of the Ranjiaba Branch, CQHCWC

Clinic hours: Monday to Friday all day; Saturday, Sunday morning

Tel: 023-60354526/60354539