Burns Caused by Heat (Child)

A heat-induced burn (thermal burn) can occur when the skin comes in contact with any heat source. This might be from a cooking pan, an iron, a fire, a hot surface, or a hot, scalding liquid or gas.

Caring for a heat-induced burn in a child

  • Remove the child from the heat source.

  • As quickly as you can, cool the affected area by running cool water over the burn for 5 minutes. Don't rub the burned area.

  • Don't use ice on a burn. It can cause more damage.

  • If a blister has formed, don't break it because this could increase the risk for infection.

  • Protect the burn with a dry, sterile, gauze bandage or with a clean bed sheet or cloth. If the burn is oozing, cover it lightly with a sterile gauze or clean sheet or towel. Get medical care right away.

  • If your child's clothing is stuck to the burned area, don't try to remove it. Instead, cut around the clothing, leaving the burn intact. Get medical care right away.

  • Don't apply any ointments, powders, oils, or sprays to the burned area unless prescribed by your healthcare provider. So-called home remedies such as butter, grease, or powder can actually make the burn worse.

  • If your child has burns on the hand, foot, face, eyes, or groin, or burns that cover a large area, get medical care right away. Or call 911 for emergency medical care.

  • If your child has a small burn in an area not mentioned above, it's OK to give them some acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain if they have no conditions preventing them from taking these medicines.