Treating Hot Water Burns

Treating Hot Water Burns

The causes of burns in adults and children vary, this includes burns resulting from direct exposure of the skin to fire. Also electrical and chemical burns, or burns that result from touching a hot object. Burns caused by hot water are varied may be from water spilled from pots, shower water, or any kind of hot liquid such as cups of tea or coffee, and it may also be caused by the steam of hot liquids called scald burns. Children at the age of six years and under, and children with health disabilities are considered the most vulnerable to burns.

Types of hot water burns

Symptoms associated with hot water burns vary, depending on the degree of the burn. Where hot water can cause any of the following three degrees of burning.

First-degree burn

Also called superficial burns, this type of burn affects only the upper layer of the skin.  Redness appears in the skin with minor swelling in addition to pain, and the skin becomes dry and scaly when the burns heal. This type is usually treated at home.

Second-degree burn

This type causes more damage to the skin, and it reaches the lower layers of it. This is where redness and ulceration of the skin are evident, with an appearance of bubbles. A second degree burn needs a longer period of time to heal, ranging from two to three weeks. This type of burn often does not leave scars but sometimes changes the skin color.

Third-degree burn

This type is considered the most severe type of burn, as the damage reaches all layers of the skin. It causes damage to layers of the skin. The patient may also not feel any pain. The burn may look white or dark chocolate in color. It is worth noting that this type of burn is in dire need of medical and surgical intervention to reduce the possibility of scarring after healing, and the necessary surgical operation for a person exposed to burns is called skin grafting.  This is where healthy skin is transferred from one area of the body to the affected burn. ​

The degree and severity of the burn varies according to the temperature of the hot liquid and the duration of exposure to it.

Hot water burn treatment

First aid for hot water burns

  • Quickly remove non-stick clothing to avoid heat retention and to expose the entire burn area.
  • Remove jewelry and anything tightly attached to the body, as skin tissue usually swells after a burn.
  • Cool the burns with a moderately cold water stream for at least twenty minutes to avoid burning the lower layers of the skin.
  • Cover the burned area with a clean cloth.
  • Take analgesics
  • Raise the arm or leg in case it is affected by burns, in order to avoid swelling.

Things to avoid in case of burns

  • Do not put a child with burns in a bathtub of cold water.
  • Do not open bubbles of water resulting from burns.
  • Avoid home remedies.
  • Do not use cotton wool on burns.
  • Do not use oils and ointments on burns.
  • Don’t use ice.

Situations that require medical intervention

  • Deep burning regardless of pain.
  • Burn large in size.
  • A burn that involves injury to the face, hands, feet, joints, or genitals.
  • A burn that shows signs of infection; Where there is an increase in skin redness, swelling of the skin, or pus coming out of the burn.
  • Burns that result in white or charcoal skin, regardless of the size of the burn.
  • Burns in young children less than five years of age, and pregnant women.

Hot water burn prevention

There are many tips that can be followed to avoid hot water burns;

  • Ensure that there is an obstacle to prevent the child from entering the kitchen, especially at the time of preparing food.
  • Ensure that pots, pots, and cups of hot drinks are placed away from the edges of tables and tables.
  • Never leave a hot water bucket on the floor; where the child can reach it easily.
  • Parents should not drink hot drinks if the child is near them.
  • It is advisable to check the temperature of the bath water by hand before placing the child in it.
  • Do not leave the child without parental supervision in the bathroom.
  • Set the water thermostat in the house to between 38 and 48 degrees Celsius.
  • It is recommended to use cool-mist humidifiers, as they help prevent burns caused by hot water vapor.

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