First aid

Truths and lies about how to heal burns in children


Beware of home remedies to cure burns! These treatments, which are passed down from generation to generation, can be counterproductive as they sometimes dry out the skin or cause infections. We tell you what is myth and what is reality and what is the most appropriate way to heal burns.

The skin burns They are frequent and unwanted episodes that children suffer at home. The most common are those produced by hot liquids, for example, when we do not check the temperature of the bath water or by contact with surfaces such as radiators, heaters and irons. And, a very important piece of information provided by Beatriz Martín, pediatric nurse, "90% of these accidents occur in the kitchen while we are preparing food."

After this information, it is clear that, as parents, we have to pay more attention to the safety of our children inside the home, but in the event of an accident and having to heal burns in children, there are certain things that we should NOT do. We talk about those myths that have passed from grandmothers to mothers and that, more than helping to heal, can make the wound worse.

1. Toothpaste
Who hasn't heard that toothpaste is a perfect solution to soothe the pain of a burn? Well be careful! Although it is true that at first the freshness of the toothpaste could alleviate the burn, as it dries and forms a hard mass on the wound, the skin will pull and dry and the burn will get worse.

2. Butter
The only soothing action of butter is also due to the cold it applies to the skin, since we take it out of the fridge. But putting butter on the wound is not a good solution because it draws dirt into it, increasing the risk of infection.

3. Potato peel
Due to its high content of vitamin C, the false belief that the skin of a potato on the inside could help heal a burn, but this is a fallacy.

4. Egg white
Due to its tightening effect, its gel texture and because it contains protein, popular wisdom gave egg white properties as an analgesic for burns, but in reality the egg white could be an impediment to the healing of them. The white can stick to the skin, causing infections.

5. Ice
As we apply ice to the bumps, many times we also tend to put it on the burns. Do not do it! This action can damage tissues. Also, sometimes the ice sticks to the skin, causing a lot of pain when removed.

6. Alcohol
In the past, alcohol was put on wounds, but alcohol has long been found to dry out, irritate and dehydrate.

7. Tomato
Cutting a few slices of tomato and putting them on the burn is something that has been done a lifetime and it is also useless. At the moment it refreshes the area due to the moisturizing power of the tomato, but it does not cure.

8. Corn flour
Cornmeal mixed with water has also been traditionally used to relieve burns. Like the previous remedies, it will offer the sensation of freshness at first, but it is not an effective remedy either.

Before curing a burn in children, you have to evaluate the affected part to know the severity of it. Depending on the depth of the injury produced, we find three types of burns:

- 1st grade
They are the most superficial. There is mild to intense redness, a little swelling in the area and they hurt if touched. They are, for example, those that are produced by prolonged exposure and without sun protection.

- 2nd grade
It affects the epidermis and the deepest layer. They present blisters and intense pain even without contact.

- 3rd grade
They are the most serious, because all layers of the skin are involved and the nerves have been affected. They can be black or white.

In any of these three cases, the way to act will be very similar:

- Remove the heat source. If your clothes are on fire - put them out by covering them with a blanket or by rolling them on the floor.

- Remove clothing and accessories that may continue to be a source of heat and as long as it is not attached to the skin, also if it is impregnated by a caustic.

- Cool the burn immediately by applying cool water for 10-20 minutes, but do so without exerting any pressure.

- Clean the area with mild soap and water, or 'jet' physiological saline.

- If it is small and of the first or second degree, that is to say if the skin is intact, apply a moisturizing cream and watch for changes. For pain, the child can be given the corresponding dose of paracetamol or ibuprofen.

- And finally, do not apply ice on the injury (it can produce the opposite effect), or puncture the blisters to explode them (it is an entrance to the infection) nor do you rub the burn.

If the burns are very extensive or deep, affecting joints, areas of folds, hands, feet, genitals or the face, go immediately to a health center.

You can read more articles similar to Truths and lies about how to heal burns in children, in the First Aid category on site.


Video: How do I deal with burns and scalds? 9 to 30 months. NHS (December 2021).