Children's Health and Wellness

Home Wound Care

Wound care for your child at home

Your child may come home with unhealed areas that still need dressing changes. You will be trained on how to change dressings before you leave the hospital. You do not need to maintain a sterile environment for home dressing changes. But, care for the wound in as clean an area as possible. Whoever is doing the dressing change should:

  • Wash hands well before and after changing the dressings.

  • Set out and open the new dressings before removing the old ones.

  • Use lukewarm water when bathing your child (be sure your hot water tank temperature is set below 120°F (48.89°C) so that very hot water can't be turned on accidentally).

  • Be gentle when bathing burned skin.

Your child may say that the burn is itchy. This may be because his or her oil glands in the skin were damaged by the burn and the skin is dry. Ask your child's healthcare provider about medicine and ointments that can help with the itching. 

If it appears that the dressing changes are extremely painful for your child, ask your child's doctor about using pain medicine.

The new skin over the burn area is more sensitive than the skin over the rest of the body. To protect your child's skin, make sure your child takes these steps:

  • Wear comfortable clothes.

  • Try to avoid activities that may re-injure the area.

  • Avoid going out in the sun as much as possible. Put clothes, a hat, and sunscreen (with a sun protection factor [SPF] of 15 or higher) on yourself and your child when in the sun. Even when in the sun for only a short time, your child's healing skin can become sunburned easily.

  • Do not stay out too long in cold weather. Healing (and healed) burn areas are also sensitive to cold.

Print Source: Bernabe, Management of Traumatic Wounds and a Novel Approach to Delivering Wound Care in Children, Advances in Wound Care (2014); 3(4); pp. 335-343
Print Source: Krishnamoorthy, Pediatric Brain Injuries. International Journal of Critical Illness & Injury Science (2012); 2(3); pp. 128-134
Print Source: Rowan, Burn wound healing and treatment: review and advancements, Critical Care (2015) 19; 1
Print Source: Treatment of minor thermal burns, Up To Date
Online Source: Wound Care Principles and Products, Amer Pediatric Surgical Nurses Assochttp://www.apsna.org/?page=WoundCarePrinciples
Online Source: Itchy Skin after Burn Injury, Model Systems Knowledge Translation centerhttp://www.msktc.org/burn/factsheets/itchy-skin-after-burn-injury
Online Source: Scar Management after Burn Injury, Model Systems Knowledge Translation Centerhttp://www.msktc.org/burn/factsheets/Scar-Management
Online Editor: Metzger, Geri
Online Medical Reviewer: Finke, Amy, RN, BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Perez, Eric, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 6/1/2017
© 2000-2017 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 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.