This is torture :( my son is one and is recovering from burns on his hands. Please help us get through this. What should I do to help him understand?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
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My son is one (going on 15 months old) and last week he touched the front of a glass fireplace which left him with 2nd degree superficial burns on both palms. We were at the children's hospital burn unit sent by with pediatrician. We stayed overnight. While the burns are 1% and not extreme. It's so much for my son and I to go through.

Everyday I have to change bandages and wipe down his raw burns with a wash cloth to get a slimy film off and rebandage. He cries the whole time.

I'm usually against mainstream medicine but he needs pain relief so we've been giving him Tylenol with codeine about 3 times a day(including before bandage change).

I'm still breastfeeding on demand. His primary nutrition is from breastmilk. I even put it on his burns. I know that is an amazing bond and we are very attached, he sleeps in bed with us from birth, but I just feel that he thinks I'm torturing him or abusing him every time I change his bandages. Not to mention that I have to hold him down to give him medicine.

I never thought I would need this advice. I feel like its traumatic and I'm not sure what to do.

He had always been the most peaceful best baby and even came into the world with an easy natural birth.. I don't know how to cope.

Please help us. greensad.gifgreensad.gifgreensad.gif
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#2 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 08:26 AM
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#3 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 08:44 AM
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I'm so sorry greensad.gif
I have an almost 17 month old son who is into everything all the time, and constantly jumping, climbing... Sometimes it feels like we live in fear of him injuring himself. I can only imagine how difficult and heartbreaking what you're going through must be.

I don't have any real advice but to tell you that this will pass, and eventually it will just be a story you tell him.

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#4 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 08:52 AM
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I am so sorry! That sounds so difficult for you and your son greensad.gif. When my DD was a baby she had to have an inhaler for bronchial pneumonia and also because we lived in a house full of mold. She had to have the aero chamber held down on her face and I know it terrified her and she would scream and scream the entire time. We hated it, but it helped her so we did it. I know she wasn't in pain like your DS, but just wanted to share that now she doesn't appear to show any signs of trauma from the experience, she even takes her aero chamber (that we haven't had to use for 2 years since the mold problem is gone) and uses it as a mask. I always say this too shall pass, I think you are doing everything you can to make sure he feels safe but sometimes they just have to get through it. Hopefully each day gets a little better and he will be able to move on from this. Hugs!
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#5 of 8 Old 11-10-2012, 09:33 AM
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That sounds horrible for both of you! HUGS.

I cannot possibly compare my experiences with DS to burns, but he has severe anxiety, plus sensory issues that make him feel like he's being tortured when I help him do certain everyday physical care tasks. So perhaps some of my ideas might also help in your situation?

I let him have as much control as he wants/needs. Your little guy might be too young to really participate much but if you can find some way to let him help with his own wound care, he might feel more in control of it. Maybe he gets out the medical supplies, or opens the bandage, or rubs cream on part of the wound himself (or even just elsewhere on his body), or something like that? When we feel in control of what's happening to us, it's less painful & traumatic.

When you're actually changing his bandages, find a way to make it special & more relaxing (even if he still screams the whole time). You could tell him a favorite story, put on a favorite song or TV show, follow it up with a special treat or book, whatever will be meaningful to him. Take some time before & afterward to really reconnect with him.

Most importantly: Role-play what happened to him... How he got hurt, followed by the trip to the hospital, and then home care. Get his favorite stuffed toys/dolls and have him be the doctor or the parent taking care of the sick child. You be the voice of the hurt stuffed toys (and prompt him as necessary, "I'm hurt!! Can you give me a bandage? Can I have a kiss now?") Let him put real bandages on them, wash their hands, give them pretend medicine, comfort them, etc. -- everything you do for him. Do this over & over until he loses interest or seems to have moved on. In my experience, playing out the trauma & its aftermath can really help little kids process it. Make sure you focus on the whole thing (especially how you took care of him afterward, etc.) not just the bad parts, so he can have a sense of resolution & realize he is OK now.

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#6 of 8 Old 11-18-2012, 11:54 AM
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first of all, hugs.


You're not torturing him.  You are caring for him. Changing his bandages is an act of love, and your son knows that you are doing it out of caring.  Because he's a baby, he cannot help but cry and protest the pain. He will not be traumatized or feel abused by you.

You can try narrating for him as you are doing his bandages.  "We are taking off your old, yucky bandage.  Ouch, I can see that this is hurting you. I'm cleaning your wound now, so that it can heal. I can see that you don't like this or want me to do this. Here is a nice new bandage. We are done now. Yes, I bet that that hurt you."  Then, hug hug hug, "Mommy's here for you. I love you."  Even if he doesn't understand the words, he will understand your intention to care for him and your recognition of his pain.

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#7 of 8 Old 11-18-2012, 12:30 PM
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You need to keep doing what you are doing. You are helping him.


I would give him his pain medication 30 minutes before bandage changes as it can help to decrease his pain level during the procedure.



I would be careful as far as using breastmilk for a burn. Burn is open window to infection and while the mil has some antiseptic properties it can also have  bacteria and viruses. And unless you are tested, you do not know .


I am very sorry your and your baby have to deal with it.  My son touched a stove door with both hands when he was 18 months old. It was very traumatic for all involved.


He is 17 now and does not remember anything!

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#8 of 8 Old 11-20-2012, 06:38 PM
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My DD burned her hand on our floor furnace at 15 months. We had to do the bandage change - DH did it while I held her. She screamed the entire time. Fast forward - she is almost 4 and doesn't even remember that she burned her hand. So don't worry, you aren't traumatizing him for life or anything. You, and he, will be ok in the end. You're doing the best you can do mama!



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