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    Treating Burns and Scalds in Children

    Call 911 if:

    • The burned area is charred or white.
    • Electric shock or chemicals caused the burn.
    • The burn is on the face, hands, feet, genitals, or a joint.
    • The burn covers 10% or more of the body.

    • The burned area is charred or white.
    • Electric shock or chemicals caused the burn.
    • The burn is on the face, hands, feet, genitals, or a joint.
    • The burn covers 10% or more of the body.

    You can treat mild 1st degree burns -- those that look like sunburns -- at home. Second- or 3rd degree burns need immediate medical attention.

    Call Doctor If:

    • The burn is oozing or seems infected (red, swollen, tender).

    1. Soak the Burn

    • Immediately put the burned area in cool -- not cold -- water or under a faucet.
    • Keep the injury in water for at least five to 15 minutes.
    • Do not use ice.

    2. Remove Burned Clothing

    • If the clothing is stuck to the skin, do not peel it away. Leave it in place and cut away the clothing around it.

    3. Cover the Burn

    • Use nonstick gauze or a clean cloth.
    • If the burn is mild, you may put on antibiotic ointment.
    • Don't put butter, grease, or anything else on the burn, and do not pop any blisters.

    4. Reduce Pain

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD on September 15, 2015

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