Burn on toddler's hand - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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When is it necessary to go to the ped for a burn? My son has what is probably a second degree burn on his palm from yesterday afternoon. His palm blistered up overnight. I have a triple ointment on it with a gauze pad and a sock over it. I gave him some acetimenaphon(sp?) for the pain. He is eating and drinking well and does not have a fever. He does say it hurts though.

As long as the blisters don't break, should I continue to treat as is? What else would a ped do? Prescribe abx? A stronger cream?

Thanks, this is the first injury I'm dealing with...

DS September 2008 and DD September 2010
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:44 PM
 
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No I wouldn't go to the ped personally. I have found natural ways of dealing with burns and cuts that are gentler, and more effective (they heal faster) than anything a ped would do.

If I were in your shoues I would apply RAW honey to the burn and cover with a sterile dressing. http://www.ehow.com/how_4713057_use-...heal-burn.html

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:26 AM
 
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I've heard wonderful things about colloidal silver for burns. I have not tried it though, but soon we will!

 
 
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:40 AM
 
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A few weeks ago I dealt with my toddlers first 2nd degree burn. I wrapped it in gauze to protect it from being bumped in play and tried to keep it dry. I didn't put anything on it until she popped it a few days later when she had the bandages off. Then I put some anti-bacterial ointment on it that I had from a HFS to heal cuts since I didn't want it to get infected once the blister popped. I continued to wrap it for a few more days. It dried out, and I used nail clippers to clip off the dead dry skin so that DD wouldn't pull on it and create another wound. And now all that is left is a bright pink spot of skin on her finger where the blister was.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:49 AM
 
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I wouldn't at this stage. It's gonna hurt regardless, poor guy. Burns hurt! I'd keep doing what you are doing, and watch it.

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Old 09-15-2010, 08:33 AM
 
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You may know this already but since you didn't mention it, when a burn happens you need to run the body part under cold water for a while (around 5 minutes continually) to make sure that the heat is gone, or it will continue to get worse (actually keep burning even though you've removed what is hot). It sounds like that is what might have happened with the blisters forming overnight? Alternatively you can use ice but cold water is safer and hurts less, especially on a toddler.

One of the things I like to have on hand for burns is fresh comfrey leaf. You can make a slurry of it with water in the blender and freeze it in a tubelike shape (like in an old frozen juice container), then when a burn happens you just cut off slices of it and keep it on the burn until it all melts (you may need a couple rounds of this until the burn has cooled). This isn't always practical, of course, since you're not always at home when you get burned, so I keep yarrow tincture on hand in my purse for emergency first aid. It helps a lot with the pain (as long as the blisters aren't open) as well as heals/disinfects. You could also use lavender essential oil, which does the same. I also use fresh aloe leaf a lot on minor burns and it helps with the pain but if this is a more serious burn it might not help a whole lot.

At this point I would go with the raw honey, and stay away from colloidal silver with a toddler.
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Old 09-15-2010, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses. Unfortunately I wasn't with him when the burn occurred and I thought they had run it under cold water for long enough, but you're right, since it blistered overnight I guess the heat continued to build up.

I am going to treat at home using some of the respones. Thanks again, I guess I'm lucky I haven't had to deal with an injury like this up until now!

DS September 2008 and DD September 2010
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:11 PM
 
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A second degree burn on the hand needs to be seen by a doctor. They may refer him to a burn center/specialist if it is serious enough. Aside from being prone to infection, the way it heals can result in loss of sensitivity or mobility in the hand.

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Old 09-15-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mimie View Post
A second degree burn on the hand needs to be seen by a doctor. They may refer him to a burn center/specialist if it is serious enough. Aside from being prone to infection, the way it heals can result in loss of sensitivity or mobility in the hand.

yes. if it was his whole palm, that says doctor to me too. if it heals wrong it will keep him from the whole use of his hand. any joint needs attention. the skin can scar up in a way that impedes movement.

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Old 09-15-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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Emu oil is another thing that is good for burns. When my DD got a bad burn on her torso, the doctor said it was important to remove the skin once the blister popped. There is risk of infection under the dead skin. I hope your DS's son heals quickly.
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Old 09-16-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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Our pediatrician recommended calendula cream for burns. It works really well. Raw honey is good too. My toddler has gotten a 2nd degree burn before, and the calendula really helped.

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Old 09-16-2010, 03:58 PM
 
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I have had 2 very serious burns on the palms of my hands. One was a true 2nd degree burn, the other was a 2nd-3rd degree burn and was on the palm and the back of my hand. With both of them, the pain was so bad that I couldn't think. And I have an extremely high tolerance for pain, and I was an adult when both of them happened. It was actually mind numbing how much they hurt. I would not go to a Ped, I would go to the ER. They have burn dressings that actually do something to cut off the air to the nerve endings - which make it stop hurting. It was like the difference between CUT OFF MY HAND TO STOP THE PAIN and "My hand's a bit sore, so I'll take it easy a few days."

Also, burns on the hands should be observed by a doctor with experience in burns, and a ped will probably refer you to an emergency medicine doctor anyway. In small children this is really vital because their skin scars in different ways from adult skin. Any burn on the hands or face beyond a mild sunburn should be observed by an doctor for early signs of scaring so treatments can be done before the scars become too pronounced. Not to mention that if he has a blister on the palm of his hand, he might need debridement. Which is much worse if a burn hasn't been properly treated.

I would go to the ER. Like now.

Because I got good treatment quickly, I have almost no visible scaring from either of those burns. And they were pretty bad.
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Old 09-16-2010, 06:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I ended up taking him to the ped because it feels like I'm actually 'doing something' and after waiting for an hour and DS being a complete mess because it was 7pm and he was hungry and tired, all the ped did was take off the bandage, look at it for a second, rinse his hand, put on some silvadene cream, put gauze over the hand, and wrap it up VERY tight. I think it was too tight, DS's fingers were actually smushed into unnatural position, but in all fairness he was going crazy flailing, etc. She gave me an RX for the cream, told me to leave the bandage on for 2 days, and come back then and she would change the dressing. Nothing mentioned about scarring, nerve damage, referrals, pain medication, or the ER.

I am just going to clean and change the dressing myself in two days. I think I can do it without so much trauma. I'm still giving tylenol for the pain as needed. Maybe I'll make a follow-up appointment for when the blister breaks to make sure it is healing properly and there's no risk of infection? But how can the ped do anything to make it heal differently? I'm still kind of consfused about that.

DS September 2008 and DD September 2010
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:16 AM
 
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Unfortunately that sounds a lot like most of my encounters with pediatricians...Google and a parent's careful thought about the specifics of their own child seems to be worth a lot more than the doctor's

Most likely the only thing the doctor will do is make sure the wound is not infected. If you are checking it yourself regularly as you change the bandages you will be able to see for yourself if it looks okay. By now even if the blister breaks the skin underneath will have regenerated and the risk of infection is much lower.

I hope your son is feeling better.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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She gave me an RX for the cream, told me to leave the bandage on for 2 days, and come back then and she would change the dressing. Nothing mentioned about scarring, nerve damage, referrals, pain medication, or the ER.
I think they just were slack with their counselling. They'll look at it and decide about how it's healing, the extent of the damage, etc at the followup in two days. They'll also give you a different dressing and swap from silvadene to a different cream. When the blisters pop they'll need to be cleaned up (cut off the dead skin). Burns develop, and you can't tell on day one what level it is, or how bad it is. it needs time before they can say it's OK or not.
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Old 09-21-2010, 08:41 PM
 
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I too would go to an ER or press your paed for a referral to a burns and plastics clinic.

My dd suffered a scald to her arm and needed a graft and we spent a week on a kids burns ward and then months going to clinics. She wore a compression garment for almost 2 years to keep the graft and scarred tissue smooth.

From what we saw and heard, hand burns can heal very well and relatively quickly but it is the blistered skin that can be the cause of infection. As soon as skin has died it is no good to keep it there. They removed all dd's peeling skin as soon as we got to the burns centre and they wrapped it with silicone sheets to keep it moist for 3 days to see how it would 'cook' (their term, not mine.)

It may still be too soon to know how the burn will settle and having an experienced eye on it will do no harm. They can then look at the scarring and how it is developing and advise whether compression may be necessary.
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