Children's Health and Wellness

Heat or Thermal Burns

A heat-induced or thermal burn can occur when the skin comes in contact with any heat source, such as a cooking pan, an iron, a fire, a hot surface or a hot, scalding liquid.

Caring for a heat-induced or thermal burn:

  • Remove the child from the heat source.

  • Cool the affected area with cold water or cold compresses until pain is reduced or alleviated.

  • If a blister has formed, do not break it.

  • Protect the burn with a dry, sterile, gauze bandage or with a clean bed sheet or cloth.

  • If your child's clothing is stuck to the burned area, do not attempt to remove it. Instead, cut around the clothing leaving the burn intact.

  • Do not apply any ointments, oils, or sprays to the burned area unless prescribed by your doctor.

  • If your child has burns on the hand, foot, face, eyes, or groin, or burns that cover a large area, seek medical attention or dial 911 for emergency medical attention.

Print Source: Up To Date. Treatment of minor thermal burns
Online Source: American Academy of Family Physicians. Firs Aid: Burns
Online Editor: Metzger, Geri
Online Medical Reviewer: Duldner, John E., MD, MS
Online Medical Reviewer: Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 8/10/2015
© 2000-2015 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.