You’ve probably heard a lot of “home remedies” for different ailments like burns and a lot of these have left me shaking my head.
When I was a kid, do you know what my mom used to put on burns? Toothpaste! And then there are those folks who swear by putting butter on burns. Hopefully, no one is doing that anymore.
Kids Will Be Kids
I think we all know many of the burns that kids experience are preventable. And, of course, kids will be kids.
Even though we try our best, it’s literally impossible to keep our eyes on our kiddos 100% of the time and keep them from getting into things that can burn them. Kids want to have fun and don’t always think about the consequences.
Study Reports Burns Are Fifth Most Common Cause of Accidental Death
The age group most affected are toddlers and young children (ages 4 and under). In fact, children 4 years old and younger who are hospitalized for burns are 65% likely to be the victims of scald burns with only 20% being from contact burns.
Watch Kids Around Water
Many of these scald burns come from hot tap water burns. Thankfully, regulations and the lack of open fires in homes have decreased burn injuries in the past thirty years. But they do still occur, no matter how much you try to stop them.
When dealing with burns, it can be difficult as there are so many different types and severity: thermal, electrical, and chemical burns and first-, second-, or third-degree burns. Even I have a hard time keeping track.
Determine If the Burn Is a
Hopefully, you’ll never have to experience any of these as a parent, but if you do, it’s important to keep calm and follow the steps.
If the burn is minor, a first-degree burn such as a sunburn where the skin is just reddened but still intact:
Cool the burn with cold compresses or cool water (NO ice!)
Cover the burn with a clean bandage
If you need to ease the pain of the burn, use over the counter pain meds. Also, aloe vera or burn gel can be applied for extra relief.
If the skin blisters, do not pop them. This may increase the chance of infection. Instead, just cover them and keep them clean.
See a Doctor for Any Other Type of Burn
In a child especially, the severity of the burn depends on the size and location of the burn. There’s actually a whole formula used to determine it, but I say keep it simple. If you have any doubt that it’s anything more than a minor first-degree burn, seek professional medical help ASAP. It’s better to be too careful than not careful enough!
Discuss Safety with Your Kids
With the Fourth of July festivities coming up, it’s a good idea to discuss safety around the grill, fireworks and other activities that may have a flammable element with your kids.
Hopefully, this helps to inform you a bit more if you are ever to have to deal with a burn to one of your children. Just remember, please, NO toothpaste!
Unfortunately, that also leads to a very high rate of injury among these children and teens. When you hear about the horrific injuries that pile up in professional sports, you must realize that 40% of all sports-related injuries happen to children between 5 and 14 years old.
Here are more stats that put the problem of kids’ sports related injuries into perspective:
1. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over half of all sports related injuries could have been prevented. This underscores the need for children to wear proper protective gear and to be careful when practicing or playing a sport.
In the case of biking and skateboarding, children should always wear safety head gear. In other sports, schools need concussion policies in place for the diagnosis and treatment of this condition so that injured students aren’t put in harm’s way by playing hurt.
3. In one year, there were 1.35 million emergency room visits for children all stemming from just 14 sports. What makes this especially problematic is the fact that these are ER visits, which are generally more expensive for those dealing with insurance payments.
But also, many times parents don’t follow up with treatment because they think the problem has been taken care of by the ER physician. Often the ER doctor is just getting the child stabilized and out of the “danger zone” and full treatment requires attention from the child’s regular doctor.
Look, we all want to take care of our children and as much as we want to, you can’t wrap them up in bubble wrap and protect them from the world until they’re 18. You must let them go out and experience the world and if you don’t let them take part in sports activities, you’ll seriously hinder the physical and social development.
However, you must consider if contact sports are the right option for your child and in all situations, you need to ensure your child is protected with the right gear and gets the right treatment if they are injured.