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BURNS :: Returning Home After a Burn Injury

Home Wound Care

Providing wound care for your child at home:

Your child may come home with unhealed areas that still require dressing changes. You will be instructed on how to change dressings before you leave the hospital. It is not necessary to maintain a sterile environment for home dressing changes, but they should take place 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 dressing before removing the old ones.
  • use lukewarm water when bathing your child (be sure your hot water tank temperature is set below 120°F so that very hot water cannot be turned on accidentally).
  • be gentle when bathing burned skin.

If it appears that the dressing changes are extremely painful for your child, you may want to discuss pain medication with your child's physician.

Healing skin can be dry

The burn damages the glands in the skin that make oils. Until the glands work again, you can put lotion on your child's dry skin. Cocoa butter is often recommended. Do not use products on the skin that contain alcohol. Alcohol dries the skin. You will need to read the labels on different lotions to see if they contain alcohol and then avoid that lotion. Also consult your child's physician regarding skin products.

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 the following steps:

  • Put on comfortable clothes.
  • Try to avoid physical trauma.
  • Avoid going out in the sun as much as possible. Wear clothes, hats, and sun screen (with a sun protection factor [SPF] of 15 or higher) on your child when in the sun. Even for a for a short period of time, your child's healing skin can become sunburned easily.
  • Do not stay out in cold weather. Healing burn areas are also sensitive to cold.

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Burns


It is important to remember the health information found on this website is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.

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