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One of the most common injuries we see in the urgent care setting is burns. Kids are curious and often try to get their hands on many items they should not!
Here are a few things you can do to prevent burns inside the home:
1. Stove. Get in the habit of cooking using the back burners on your stove. Also, keep the pot handles turned towards the wall, and make sure any ladles or spoons are outside of your child’s reach.
2. Oven. Have a lock on your oven. Not only will this prevent your child from getting burned, but there have also been cases of children getting inside the oven for hide-and-seek and suffocating.
3. Hair appliances. Make sure hair straighteners and other devices are out of reach and turned off if not actively being used. Install a childproof lock on the bathroom door or cabinet to keep it away from your kids.
4. Hot Drinks. Be mindful of your hot beverages. If you set them down, make sure they are not close to the edge of the counter or within reach of your child.
5. Humidifiers. If you have a humidifier, make sure it is a “cool mist” humidifier. Many burns have been caused by “warm mist” humidifiers.
6. Space Heaters. If you use space heaters, keep them out of reach of your child. Also remember, these should not run at nighttime.
7. Water heaters. Make sure your water heater is set to never exceed 120 degrees Fahrenheit
8. Candles. It is not recommended to burn candles (especially scented ones) around children as it can contribute to poor indoor air quality. If you decide to burn candles in your home, be sure they are out of reach of your child and set an alarm on your phone to remind you to blow them out.
9. Iron/Steamer. If you use an iron or steamer for your clothes, the best practice is to do this when your child is asleep or in another room. Be sure to turn these items off immediately after use and to be sure they are safely out of reach while cooling off.
Fortunately, many burns are considered minor and can be treated at home or at an urgent care like Little Spurs. Burns are classified by how much area is affected (body surface area) and by how deep they are. First-degree burns turn the skin red, but the skin doesn’t blister. Second-degree burns will likely develop blisters. For third-degree burns, the skin will be charred or white. At Little Spurs, we can treat first and second-degree burns. We recommend third-degree burns be seen at the ER or by a burn center and will refer out all third-degree burns.
How To Treat A Burn:
1. Cool the burn – run cool (not cold!) water over the burn for at least 5 minutes. Do not put ice on it. Another option is to cover the wound with a water-soaked gauze for 30 minutes.
2. Cover the burn – cover the burn with a clean bandage. Do not use a material that would stick to the burn.
3. Protect the burn – keep the burn clean with soap and water. Avoid using ointments on the burn unless directed to by a medical professional. If blisters form, do not pop them. Occasionally your provider may recommend a topical antibiotic such as Triple Antibiotic or Neosporin for minor burns, but typically just keeping it clean will do the trick. Please do not apply any home remedies (such as mustard) to the burn.
The Healing Process:
It can take up to two weeks for a minor burn to heal. The burn may scar depending on how deep into the skin it is. After healing has begun, a moisturizing cream such as Eucerin, Nivea, or Cocoa Butter can be applied to the area. Always make sure you follow up with your primary care provider.
Little Spurs Pediatric Urgent Care opened in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas. With multiple locations in San Antonio and Dallas, they are open seven days a week with extended evening hours and see walk-in patients or through an online check-in system. They accept most commercial insurance and Medicaid plans.