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Care at Home

  • PAIN MEDICINE: * For pain, put a cold wet washcloth on the burn. * Also, give acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) or ibuprofen for a few days. See Dose Table.
  • CLEANSING: * Wash the burn gently with warm water. * Do not use soap unless the burn is dirty. Reason: Soaps can slow healing.
  • CLOSED BLISTERS: * Don't open any small closed blisters. * The outer skin protects the burn from infection.
  • ANTIBIOTIC OINTMENT: * For any broken blisters, use an antibiotic ointment such as Polysporin. No prescription is needed. * Then cover it with a Band-Aid. Change the dressing every other day. * Use warm water and 1 or 2 gentle wipes with a wet washcloth to clean.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * Most often, burns hurt for about 2 days. * It will peel like a sunburn in about a week. * First- and second-degree burns don't leave scars.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Severe pain lasts over 2 hours after taking pain medicine * Burn starts to look infected (spreading redness, pus) * Burn not healed after 10 days * Your child becomes worse
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * Minor burns can be treated at home. * This includes some small blisters. * Here is some care advice that should help.


The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, it is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

If you think that your child is having a medical emergency, call 911 or the number for the local emergency ambulance service NOW!

And when in doubt, call your child's doctor NOW or go to the closest emergency department.

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