Download and print as a PDF (145kB pdf)
What causes burns?
7061 children were seriously burned or scalded in 2019; this does not include the thousands seen in A&E departments throughout the UK.
Common causes of burns and scalds:
- Hair straighteners left to cool.
- Cup of tea or coffee spills.
- Electric hob.
- Kettle spill.
What should I do if my child gets burned?
Cooling the burn is critical:
- Cool running water for 20 minutes is considered best.
- Alternatively, hold a clean damp cloth on the burn and drizzle cool water onto the cloth, keeping it wet.
- Remove all clothing and jewellery unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the skin, if so, leave it in place.
- If the burn is on a limb (such as arm, hand or leg) or torso, you can wrap it loosely in cling film.
- Give your child pain medicine such as paracetamol and / or ibuprofen.
If your child has these symptoms call Peanut ward IMMEDIATELY on: 01342 414469
• If they’ve been getting better for 48 hours then become ill
Burn follow up care
Most burns will be followed up at the Queen Victoria Hospital’s (QVH) Peanut ward (burn unit); more minor burns can be reviewed at the RACH burn clinic.
Please give your child regular pain medicine such as paracetamol and/or ibuprofen (refer to the instructions on the bottle/packet regarding does and frequency).
If you have any concerns about your child’s burn or dressing, please call Peanut ward on 01342 414469.
Child Accident Prevention Trust
Our aim is to provide information that will help you understand your child’s injury and enable the appropriate after-care. There are lots of useful injury leaflets to download at this link: Children’s A&E – University Hospitals Sussex (uhsussex.nhs.uk)
24hr advice line NHS 111
Practice Plus (Brighton walk-in Centre) 0333 321 0946
Practice Plus GP 0300 130 3333
7 days a week 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.