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Leaflet: Burns and Scalds in Children – Information for people attending the Minor Injury Unit

We realise that, after your child has sustained a burn or scald, it is often a very difficult time for you and your family.

It is usual to feel very upset after the accident.

There may be questions you want to ask and so we have prepared this leaflet to help you.If you feel you need more help and advice, contact your Health Visitor, GP, the Minor Injury Unit or the Emergency Department and we will provide any advice that you need.

The healing process

Most burns heal within 7-14 days, but some do take longer to heal.

Problems that can rise

It is important to minimise the risk of infection and you should watch for signs of infection such as:

• A foul smell from the burn or scald

• Increased redness around the burn

• A fever in your child or your child becomes unwell, more irritable or develops a rash

If you think that there are signs of infection, you should return to the Minor Injury Unit or Emergency Department or telephone for advice.

How to look after the dressing

Keep the dressing dry. Be careful when washing. If the dressing gets dirty or falls off or leaks through, please return to the Minor Injury Unit or telephone us for advice.

Pain relief, plenty of fluids and a good diet are important.

A good diet

Encourage him/her to have plenty of drinks such as fruit juice and milk as vitamins are essential to help the damaged skin to heal.

Fluid does leak from the burnt area and it is important to replace fluid lost. A good balanced diet is also important.

Pain relief

Your child may show signs of pain by becoming quiet and withdrawn, reluctant to play and refusing to eat or drink.

You should give Calpol (liquid paracetamol). Read the dosage on the bottle and give some every 4-6 hours for the first 24-48 hours and continue while your child is in pain.

First aid treatment for burns and scalds

Immediately apply cold water to the affected area for at least 5-10 minutes. This helps to remove heat from the skin and lessen damage.

Cover the affected area with a clean cloth e.g. freshly washed pillowcase. Cling film is a useful alternative, but it should only be used on limbs and trunk.

Do not use a tea towel or dishcloth as they are often contaminated with bacteria.

Do not try to ‘pop’ blisters.

Do not apply oils, cream or ointment.

Seek medical advice immediately. If you are unsure of anything, please do not hesitate to telephone us. A nurse is always available to give advice and will be happy to help.

Do use sun protection on the burnt area when necessary for a year after it has healed.

Do moisturise the area after healing to keep the skin supple.

Call 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.

For less urgent health needs, contact your GP or local pharmacist in the usual way.

Minor Injury Unit

Sirona care & health’s Minor Injury Unit offers treatment for adults, children and young people for a wide range of minor injuries. You can drop in without an appointment, or you may be referred by your GP or other healthcare professional. We aim to treat most patients within two hours.

Yate Minor Injuries Unit

Opening Times:

Open 7 days a week.

08.00 – 20.00


Yate West Gate Centre

21 West Walk

Yate Town Shopping Centre

BS37 4AX

This leaflet can be provided in other formats and languages, please contact us for more information.

Telephone: 0300 124 5300 (Calls from landlines are charged up to 10p per minute; calls from mobiles vary, please check with your network provider. This is not a premium-rate number.)



Date of creation: April 2019
Date of review: April 2021
URN: 107