Burns and Electric Shock - Topic Overview
seriousness of a burn is determined by several
- The depth, size, cause, affected body area, age,
and health of the burn victim.
- Any other injuries that occurred,
and the need for follow-up care.
Burns affect people of all ages, though some are at higher
risk than others.
- Most burns that occur in children younger than
age 5 are scald burns from hot liquids.
- Over half of all burns
occur in the 18- to 64-year-old age group.
- Older adults are at a
higher risk for burns, mostly scald burns from hot liquids.
are twice as likely to have burn injuries as women.
Babies and young children may have
a more severe reaction from a burn than an adult. A burn in an adult may cause
a minor loss of fluids from the body, but in a baby or young child, the same
size and depth of a burn may cause a severe fluid loss.
age determines how safe his or her environment needs to be, as well as how much
the child needs to be supervised. At each stage of a child's life, look for
burn hazards and use appropriate
safety measures. Since most burns happen in the home,
simple safety measures decrease the chance of
anyone getting burned. See the Prevention section of this topic.
When a child or
vulnerable adult is burned, it is important to find
out how the burn happened. If the reported cause of the burn does not match how
the burn looks,
abuse must be considered and resources for help, such as social services, offered. Self-inflicted burns will
require treatment as well as an evaluation of the person's emotional
Infection is a concern with all burns. Watch for
signs of infection during the healing process. Home
treatment for a minor burn will reduce the risk of infection. Deep burns with
open blisters are more likely to become infected and need medical
Check your symptoms to decide if and
when you should see a doctor.