Diagnosis, treatment, and services for your everyday medical needs such as flu shots and lab work.
There is no other way of saying it, but we all poop. It’s something every person does and believe it or not, your stool says a lot about your health. With that being said, your child may have a tough time expressing this because of their lack of knowledge and they may be embarrassed to talk about it. It is important for you as the parent to be aware of your child’s bathroom habits so you know if they are ill or if you need to take them to see their healthcare provider. This may not be the most fun information to learn, but it is very important.
Diarrhea is when stools are loose and watery. When experiencing diarrhea, your child may also need to go to the bathroom more often. Diarrhea is a common problem. It may last 1 or 2 days and go away on its own. If diarrhea lasts more than 2 days, your child may have a more serious problem and should be seen by their healthcare provider.
The symptoms your child may experience when they have diarrhea can vary depending on if it’s mild or severe and what the cause of diarrhea might be. Sometimes there is a correlation between serious cases of diarrhea and a medical condition that has gone untreated. It can be tricky because your child may experience all these symptoms or only a few. The main symptom of diarrhea is a loose or watery stool, but other symptoms may include bloating nausea, and an immediate need to use the bathroom. In more serious cases your child may experience fever, weight loss, dehydration, severe pain, and blood in the stool. Severe diarrhea can lead to significant complications and if your child is experiencing these symptoms, call their healthcare provider and seek medical attention.
Believe it or not, there are several different ways to categorize diarrhea.
Acute diarrhea: The most common form. Acute diarrhea is loose watery diarrhea that lasts one to two days. This type doesn’t need treatment and it usually goes away after a few days.
Persistent diarrhea: This type of diarrhea generally persists for several weeks, anywhere from two to four weeks.
Chronic diarrhea: Diarrhea that lasts for more than four weeks or comes and goes regularly over a long period of time is called chronic diarrhea.
Your child’s healthcare provider will ask about their symptoms and health history. They will then give your child a physical exam and if need be, your son or daughter may have lab tests to check their blood and urine. Outside of that, some other tests may include image testing to rule out certain diseases, blood tests, and a stool culture to check for abnormal bacteria or parasites in your child’s digestive tract. This requires a small stool sample to be taken and sent to a lab.
There is also something called a sigmoidoscopy. This test lets the healthcare provider check the inside of your child’s large intestine. This helps to tell what is causing diarrhea, stomach pain, constipation, abnormal growth, and bleeding. The tube is put into your child’s intestine through the rectum, then the tube blows air into the intestine to make it swell.
Identifying the cause of diarrhea can be very difficult, however, the most common cause is typically when a virus infects your bowel. This usually lasts a couple of days and sometimes you’ll hear it being referred to as the intestinal flu. Some other ways your child may have diarrhea would be due to infections by bacteria or pre-formed toxins, eating certain foods, allergies, medications, and in some cases radiation therapy.
Dehydration is the biggest issue when talking about diarrhea. This is more likely the case with young children and those with a weakened immune system. Their dehydration can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild dehydration is the loss of fluid and moderate or severe dehydration puts stress on the heart and lungs. In severe cases, it can lead to shock, which is life-threatening.
Children with viral diarrhea will usually have a fever and may vomit. Soon after these symptoms appear, children will experience diarrhea. It is important to note that part of treating diarrhea is preventing your child from becoming dehydrated.
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is. Dehydration is the major concern with diarrhea and in most cases, treatment includes replacing lost fluids. Antibiotics may be prescribed when bacterial infections are the cause. Children should drink lots of fluids that replenish lost body fluids. If your child is dehydrated, be sure to offer drinks called glucose-electrolyte solutions. These fluids have the right balance of water, sugar, and salts. They should also avoid juice or soda and make sure not to give too much plain water to kids of any age.
When taking over-the-counter drugs, it is important to always follow the instructions. The rules for managing diarrhea in an adult are different than in children, making it important to always call your child’s healthcare provider before giving your child any type of medication for diarrhea.
If your child has severe diarrhea, call their healthcare provider. Young children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults and you can’t treat a child’s diarrhea the same way you would treat an adult. Over-the-counter medications can be dangerous in young children, and their healthcare provider should manage all diarrhea treatments in children. It’s important to keep your child hydrated. Their provider will decide what is the best way to make sure they stay hydrated, but options often include breast milk, formula, and beverages with electrolytes (for older children, not babies).
In extreme cases of diarrhea, your child may become very dehydrated and because of this, have serious complications. As stated before, dehydration is one of the most harmful side effects of diarrhea and in infants and small children, this can have serious consequences.
If your child has diarrhea that doesn’t seem to improve or resolve completely, you should call their healthcare provider. Pay attention to any other symptoms they may be experiencing which might include fever, vomiting, rash, weakness, numbness, lightheadedness, dizziness, weight loss, and blood in your stool.
At the end of the day, your child’s diarrhea is most likely nothing more than a stomach bug or a bad belly ache. Even though there is a chance it may be something more serious, over-the-counter drugs and plain food complimented with plenty of fluids should do the trick and have your child feeling healthy in no time. But if your little one doesn’t seem to be healing back to their normal selves, our trained staff at Chai Care will be happy to offer our expert advice and top-notch service!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Jan 31, 2023
After the rise of COVID-19, it is hard to not be frightened of contagious viruses and infections. Our world can be an unforgiving place and when it comes to protecting our youth, things can be that much more intimidating. The truth of the matter is that at some point your child is going to get sick and when that happens you should be informed as much as humanly possible. With that being said, measles should be at the top of your list.
Measles is an extremely contagious respiratory infection. It causes a total-body skin rash and flu-like symptoms. Measles is rare in the United States thanks to widespread immunization, but millions of cases happen worldwide every year.
Measles (also called rubeola) is caused by a virus, so there is no specific medical treatment for it—the virus has to run its course. A child who is sick with measles should drink plenty of liquids, get lots of rest, and stay home from school or daycare to prevent the spreading of the infection.
The first symptoms of a measles infection are usually a hacking cough, runny nose, high fever, and red eyes. Kids also may have small red spots with blue-white centers inside the mouth before the rash starts.
The rash breaks out 3–5 days after symptoms start, sometimes along with a high fever of up to 104°F (40°C). The red or reddish-brown rash usually begins as flat red spots on the forehead. It spreads to the rest of the face, then down the neck and torso to the arms, legs, and feet. The fever and rash slowly go away after a few days.
Measles is very contagious. Believe it or not, 9 out of 10 people who aren’t vaccinated for measles will get it if they are near an infected person.
Measles spreads when people breathe in or have direct contact with the virus-infected fluid. It can pass through droplets sprayed into the air when someone with measles sneezes or coughs. Someone exposed to the virus usually shows symptoms 7–14 days later.
Children with measles can spread the disease from 4 days before the rash starts until about 4 days after that. They’re most contagious when they have a fever, runny nose, and cough. Those with weak immune systems due to other conditions (like HIV and AIDS) can spread the measles virus until they recover.
Even though there is no specific medical treatment for measles, you can help your child by encouraging extra rest and giving them a non-aspirin fever medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Also, children with measles should be kept away from others for 4 days after their rash appears. For those with a weak immune system, this should continue until they make a full recovery, and all symptoms are gone.
A measles infection can last for several weeks. Symptoms usually start 7–14 days after someone is exposed to the virus.
The best way to protect your kids is to make sure they’re immunized against measles. For most children, measles protection is part of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) given when they’re 12 to 15 months old and again when they’re 4 to 6 years old. The vaccine can be given to babies as young as 6 months old if they will be traveling internationally. It’s important to speak to your healthcare provider to see when the vaccine is needed.
Widespread immunization has made measles rare in the U.S., but outbreaks still happen. With that being said, measles outbreaks have been increasing worldwide, mostly due to people not being vaccinated. It’s important for all kids who can get the vaccine to get it on time. At-risk people (such as those with weak immune systems) can’t get the vaccine. But when a lot of other people are immunized against a disease, it protects them, prevents the disease from spreading, and helps prevent outbreaks.
Even though we are fortunate enough to live in a country that is mostly protected from measles, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms because it’s still possible to contract it. The truth is, we would rather live our lives in peace and not worry about such things, which is why the experts at Chai Care have your back. If you ever believe your child or loved one to be infected with measles or struggling with a different everyday medical emergency, our dedicated staff will always be here to offer a helping hand!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.Jan 30, 2023
Believe it or not, sports injuries are the second leading cause of emergency room visits for children and adolescents, and the second leading cause of injuries in school. Millions of children are seen in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries, and even more, are seen by their primary care physician or a sports medicine clinic for injuries. This is attributable to the fact that young athletes often begin their competitive sports careers as early as age seven, with some youth participating in organized sports activities as early as age four.
A child can endure many different injuries when playing a sport and understanding how to prevent them is crucial to your child’s longevity. Our country’s obsession with sports—football, basketball, and baseball being the most popular, plays a major role in why kids start playing them so young. Even though sports teach many great life lessons such as accountability, being a team player, and hard work, there are still a plethora of injuries your child may face, which is why it’s so important to be as informed as you can.
The first step toward preventing sports-related injuries is understanding how they happen. There are plenty of reasons why they occur, but the most popular reasons are due to poor equipment and technique, overuse, lack of instruction, or simply bad luck! Of course, you can’t anticipate every injury, and some are simply unavoidable, however, your child can reduce their risk of hurting themselves by practicing safe methods of playing.
Injuries can happen anywhere there are bodies in motion. However, some youth sports involve a higher degree of impact than others, including football, rugby, and hockey. Basketball, and soccer. These sports require athletes to run fast, tackle, and sometimes even collide straight into one another. From the outside looking in, this is a recipe for disaster, but sports require great strength and at times violence which makes it all the more important to be as safe as possible.
The truth is no sport or activity is 100% safe. And beyond the ice, injuries can also happen at the playground as well as on the surfboard or skatepark. However, with the right equipment, coaching and technique, your kids can still have fun while playing safe!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children have more than 3.5 million sports injuries each year. All sports carry a risk of injury and while there are steps you can take to prevent sports injuries; these common injuries may still occur.
Sports injuries in children can often be treated with Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE). However, sometimes you should see an orthopedic specialist. If your child experiences one of the following injuries and has symptoms that don’t resolve with home treatment, see your healthcare provider.
One of the most common sports injuries in children is ankle sprains. Ankle sprains occur when the ligaments that support the ankle stretch and tear. This can happen in sports like basketball, tennis, soccer, and football that require cutting or twisting actions. Ankle sprains cause pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, and instability of the ankle. Most sprains are minor injuries that heal with the RICE protocol, but sometimes they require treatment by an orthopedic specialist.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the major ligaments that stabilize the knee joint. It connects the femur to the tibia. An ACL tear can occur due to a blow to the outside of the knee or without impact after a jump or twist. ACL tears are most common in kids that play basketball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. An ACL tear causes pain, swelling, and limited movement in the knee.
Osgood-Schlatter is another type of knee pain that is different from an ACL tear. It is a traction injury (also known as a stretch injury) to a growth plate at the top of the shin bone called an apophysis. The injury is caused by tightness in the muscles coupled with high activity levels. The injury may present with pain and swelling or a bump at the bottom of the knee.
Little league elbow is caused by repetitive stress to the growth place located on the inside of a child’s elbow, resulting in pain and tenderness. It is common among baseball and softball players in positions such as pitcher, catcher, infielder, and outfielder. It may occur in other sports where repetitive throwing is required.
Like little league elbow, only it affects the shoulder and is caused by repetitive stress or micro trauma to the shoulder growth plate. This condition most commonly occurs among children between 11 and 14. As the name suggests, it is common in softball and baseball pitchers, but it can also occur in swimmers and tennis players.
Shin splints are common sports injuries in children that participate in sports that require repeated running on a hard surface. They can also be caused by overtraining at the beginning of the season without proper conditioning. Shin splints cause pain and discomfort in the front of the lower legs (the shins).
Spondylolysis is a stress fracture to the lumbar spine. A stress fracture occurs when a bone breaks after experiencing repeated stress from tension or compression. This injury usually occurs in the low back. It is most commonly seen in young athletes that participate in sports like gymnastics, tennis, rowing, weightlifter, and track and field.
Turf toe is the hyperextension of the big toe. It occurs when a young athlete pushes off the ground forcefully with the big toe being forced upward. The main symptom of these sports injuries in children is pain, but swelling may also be present.
Unfortunately, concussions are not uncommon sports injuries in children. They can occur in many sports as the result of a direct blow to the head. After such a direct hit, the child should be monitored for symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, or confusion. While the treatment for most concussions is rest, all concussions should still be evaluated by a medical professional so they can recommend the proper treatment.
So, your child loves sports, all sports, and you are terrified that they are going to injure themselves. Rest assured, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take to ensure your child will be safe!
As your child learns about safe play, reinforce the good habits they’re discovering such as wearing proper safety equipment, following the rules, and getting adequate rest for their growing bodies. Talk to them about why those habits are important. Encourage them to make healthy habits a part of their daily life. The more support your child receives from their loved ones, the more they’ll feel motivated to do the right thing for their own health and wellness.
By communicating with your son or daughter’s coach, you can get a better idea of what your child is learning when it comes to technique and training methods. When you know what’s being taught in practice and on the field, you can help support healthy directions and be aware of common misconceptions that might be dangerous and lead to injury.
For both parents and coaches, mimicking good habits start with you. Whenever you participate in physical activities with your child, that being a pick-up game of basketball or a sprint around the neighborhood, teach your child the importance of warming up, cooling down, and proper stretching to avoid injury.
When the competitive drive takes hold, your child might start going all-out on exercising and practicing. It’s important to keep tabs to make sure that your kid’s workouts stay safe and reasonable. Healthcare professionals recommend at least one rest day per week and three months off from a sport each year. Talk to your child about the advantages of balance and control that can lead to physical and mental health setbacks.
Physical activity can greatly improve your child’s mental health, as long as it’s done in a safe and balanced approach. But watch out for issues like stress. The anxiety of an intensely competitive environment can negatively impact your child both on and off the court. You as the parent should provide healthy support and encouragement as well as understanding and guidance when times are rough.
Early recognition and treatment of injuries are key in returning athletes to their sport safely and promptly. Any injury that involves swelling, deformity, and/or loss of normal function should be seen by a physician immediately while all other injuries that appear to be minor should resolve themselves within a few days. With that being said, if the injury does not heal on its own, and your child is not back to full participation without pain, it is best to have him/her evaluated by a medical professional. Lingering injuries that go untreated can turn into chronic problems that require a much longer time away from the sport to allow the injury to heal properly.
Even though there are many injuries your child can sustain while playing their favorite sport, the risk-reward factor is worth it. Your child will build life-long relationships and skills that will teach them the ever-important value of teamwork and competition. Sports are an amazing way for kids to mature and prepare themselves for the real world, but if they do find themselves with a sports-related injury, Chai Care will always have your back!
* Legal disclaimer: The content of this article and the entire Chai Care blog is for educational purposes only; it does NOT constitute medical advice and must not be considered as such. Please consult a medical professional regarding any symptoms or health concerns you or your loved ones.
Among the most common injuries a young child can face, ear infections are smack in the middle. They cause extreme discomfort for anyone who has had the misfortune of enduring them and even an adult will tell you how truly irritating they are. Sadly, kids get them regularly for several reasons, but as a person gets older, ear infections tend to happen less frequently. Besides knowing the signs and symptoms of this nasty infection, it’s important to know exactly how they start and why they occur, so you can greatly reduce the odds of your child ever having one!
Chances are you will hear the commonly used term “ear infection”. In the medical world, it is referred to as acute otitis media or a sudden infection in the middle ear (the space behind the eardrum). The truth is anyone can get an ear infection, however, they are one of the most common reasons young children visit healthcare providers.
In many cases, ear infections clear up on their own. Your healthcare provider may recommend a medication to relieve pain and if it has worsened or not improved, your healthcare provider may prescribe an antibiotic. In children younger than the age of two years, an antibiotic is usually needed for ear infections.
It’s important to see your healthcare provider to make sure the ear infection has healed or if your child has ongoing pain or discomfort. Hearing problems and other serious effects can occur with ongoing ear infections, frequent infections, and when fluid builds up behind the eardrum.
Essentially, ear infections are caused by bacteria and viruses. Many times, they begin after a cold or other respiratory infection. The bacteria or virus will travel into the middle ear through the eustachian tube, and the bacteria will plant its nasty self and take control. This tube connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. The bacteria or virus can also cause the eustachian tube to swell, thus making the tube so swollen that it will become blocked. This will cause the normally produced fluids to build up in the middle ear instead of being able to be drained away.
Another issue is that the eustachian tube is shorter and has less of a slope in children than in adults. This physical difference makes these tubes easier to become clogged and more difficult to drain. The trapped fluid can become infected by a virus or bacteria, causing pain, which is why children are more susceptible to ear infections.
We have been using the term “middle ear” quite a bit and if you’re wondering why it is because it’s rather important to know. The middle ear is behind the eardrum and is also home to the delicate bones that aid in hearing. These bones are the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. This is also where the infection will take hold and live during its duration of time. In addition to the middle, there are also the outer and inner parts of the ear. The outer ear is the outside external ear flap and the ear canal, and the inner ear contains the snail-shaped labyrinth that converts sound vibrations received from the middle ear to electrical signals. The auditory nerve carries these signals to the brain.
Even though the infection will reside in the middle part of the ear, understanding the body part in its entirety can help your child when they tell you where they feel the pain and exactly what they’re going through. Some children will become so vexed by the irritation that they will struggle with articulating exactly how they feel so it’s best to be aware as much as you can.
There are plenty of symptoms to look out for and your child will tell you all about them. The most obvious is ear pain. This symptom is obvious in older children and adults, but in infants and children too young to speak, look for signs of pain like rubbing or tugging ears, crying more than usual, trouble sleeping, and acting fussy/irritable. Other signs to watch out for would be loss of appetite, irritability, poor sleep, fever, drainage from the ear, and trouble hearing.
Ear infections are the most common childhood illness other than a cold. They occur most often in children who are between ages 3 months and 3 years and are common until age 8. Some 25% of all children will have repeated ear infections. Adults can get ear infections too, but they don’t happen nearly as often as they do in children.
It is also important to note that people with certain allergies, chronic illnesses, and even your ethnicity can affect how often your child gets an ear infection. It’s important to know your family’s medical history so you can provide your child’s healthcare provider with the proper information that can prevent any potential threats.
Your healthcare provider will look at your or your child’s ear using an instrument called an otoscope. A healthy eardrum will be pinkish-gray in color and translucent. If an infection is present, the eardrum may be inflamed, swollen, or red.
Your physician may also check the fluid in the middle ear using a pneumatic otoscope, which blows a small amount of air at the eardrum. This should cause the eardrum to move back and forth. The eardrum will not move as easily if there is fluid inside the ear.
Another test they may perform is called tympanometry. This uses air pressure to check for fluid in the middle ear. This test doesn’t test hearing. If needed, your healthcare provider will order a hearing test, performed by an audiologist, to determine possible hearing loss if you or your child has had long-lasting or frequent ear infections or fluid in the middle ears that are not draining.
Your healthcare provider will also check your throat and nasal passage and listen to your breathing with a stethoscope for signs of upper respiratory infections.
Treatment of ear infections depends on age, the severity of the infection, the nature of the infection, and if fluid remains in the middle ear for a long period. Your healthcare provider will recommend certain medications to relieve your child’s pain and fever. If the ear infection is mild, depending on the age of the child, your healthcare provider may choose to wait a few days to see if the infection goes away on its own before prescribing an antibiotic.
Antibiotics may be prescribed if bacteria are thought to be the cause of your child’s ear infection. Then, your provider may want to wait up to three days before prescribing antibiotics to see if a mild infection clears up on its own when the child is older. If your or your child’s ear infection is severe, antibiotics might be started right away.
Even though the chances of your child experiencing an ear infection are extremely high, this shouldn’t be of much concern if you act quickly and are knowledgeable of your family’s health history. Chances are the infection won’t last very long and as your youngster ages, it will soon become a bad memory. Even though there are many over-the-counter drugs and at-home remedies you can use to help heal your child, the healthcare experts at Chai Care will happily take a look as they supply their expert knowledge and quality care!
Children can be wild and intense when monkeying around with their friends or even by themselves. Whether it be on a playground, basketball court, or a park, kids love to play and explore their surroundings. Unfortunately, with this curiosity, inevitably an injury of some sort is bound to happen. The most common being some sort of sprain or strain. Most people believe these two things to be the same. Even though they sound alike, sprains and strains are completely different types of injury – and both are very common in children. Here, we will go over the differences between these two injuries and how your child can avoid them.
Sprains happen when a ligament suddenly stretches, twists, or tears. This injury can occur when a child falls or suffers a hit to the body. Sprains often affect the ankles, knees, or wrists.
Strains happen when a muscle or tendon is pulled or torn. This type of injury can happen suddenly, such as when a child overstretches a muscle, in a quick, jerking movement. Or it can happen over time if a child overuses a muscle or tendon. Overuse can occur during activities that require movements that are performed over and over.
Those who are most susceptible are teens that are active, but those who play sports are more at risk for a sprain or a strain. These injuries are not as common in younger children because their growth plates are weaker than the muscles or tendons and are more likely to be injured instead of the ligament.
Your child’s healthcare provider makes the diagnosis with a physical exam. During the exam, he or she will ask about your child’s health history and how the injury happened. They will also find where the pain is to help determine where the injury may be. If this is not enough, your child may need an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan.
In most cases, sprains and strains happen in some sort of sports injury or other intense physical activity. They are from either injury or overuse of muscles or joints. Many sports injuries can be prevented by ensuring your child warms up first, trains and conditions properly wears the right protective gear, and uses the right equipment.
You can also help your child prevent overuse injuries by making sure your child sets aside one to two days each week for rest from competitive sports and training and takes breaks from a specific sport during the year. This is extremely important and might be difficult because as we all know, children love playing around, but it is crucial to have them understand that by not resting they are putting themselves at risk for an injury. Also, encourage your child to focus on fun, skill-building, safety, and sportsmanship when playing sports which will lead to a proactive lifestyle and a healthy way of competing.
Overall, treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on the severity of the condition. Initial treatment for a sprain or a strain includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Other routes to take would be pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, a splint, cast, a removable walking boot, crutches or wheelchair, physical therapy to stretch and strengthen the injured muscles, ligaments, and tendon, and lastly, surgery. Surgery may not be necessary and is not commonly needed, but occasionally is needed if there is a fracture
In most cases, sprains and strains are not something that should keep you up at night. The recovery time is rather quick and 9 out of 10 times, your child will be back to normal in no time. Still, as a parent, you worry and love your child and would never want to see them in anguish. With that being said, do your best to educate them on the dos and don’ts of safe play and if there does come a time when your little one injures themselves, the professionals at Chai Care will make sure they receive the treatment they need!
If you play with fire you are going to get burned. As adults, we know this already, most likely from a bad experience, but children have yet to figure this out. Burns are nothing to trifle with and can cause serious damage, which is why it is paramount to stay informed and to teach our youth the danger of playing with fire and the consequences that may ensue.
As you already know, burns are a type of injury caused by heat. Heat can be thermal, electrical, chemical, or electromagnetic energy. Most burn accidents occur at home. Interestingly enough, about 75% of all burn injuries in children are preventable. Scalding is the leading cause of burn injury for children, while smoking and open flames are the leading causes of burn injury for older adults.
We all know what a burn is, but many people don’t know what the most common burns are. First off, there are thermal burns. These burns raise the temperature of the skin and tissue underneath. Thermal burns happen from steam, hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, hot foods, cooking fluids, etc. Next, there are radiation burns which happen from exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays (a sunburn because the skin isn’t well-protected in the sun) or from radiation such as during an X-ray. Then, there are chemical burns that happen from strong acids (like drain cleaner or button batteries) or spilling chemicals (like bleach) onto the skin or eyes. Lastly, electrical burns. These are from contact with electrical current and can happen from things like biting on electrical cords or sticking fingers or objects in electrical outlets, etc. Knowing the type of burn a child has can help with first-aid measures. All burns should be treated quickly to lower the temperature of the burned area and reduce damage to the skin and tissue underneath.
Simply put, there are first, second, and third-degree burns—1st being the least significant and 3rd being the most serious.
…Also known as superficial burns, burns are the mildest type of burns. They’re limited to the top layer of skin. Signs and symptoms to look out for would be redness, pain, and minor swelling. The skin is dry without blisters. Healing time is about 3–6 days; the superficial skin layer over the burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days.
…Which are a bit more serious. These burns are more serious and involve the top layer of skin and part of the layer below it. The burned area is red and blistered and can swell and be painful. The blisters sometimes break open and the area is wet looking with a bright pink to cherry red color. Healing time varies depending on the severity of the burn. It can take up to 3 weeks or longer.
…Are the most serious type of burn. They involve all layers of the skin and the nerve endings there and may go into underlying tissue. The surface appears dry and can look waxy white, leathery, brown, or charred. There may be little or no pain or the area may feel numb at first because of nerve damage. Healing time depends on the severity of the burn. Most need to be treated with skin grafts, in which healthy skin is taken from another part of the body and surgically placed over the burn wound to help the area heal.
Most small, blistering burns can be treated and cared for at home, however taking your little one to your healthcare provider will always be your best bet. If you have any questions about whether a burn can, be taken care of at home, discuss it with your physician. If you do choose to take the home-care route, make sure to cool the burn by running cool running water over the burn for about five minutes. This helps stop the burning process and decreases pain and swelling. Do not put ice on a burn and don’t rub the burn, because this can worsen the injury. Do not break blisters as this can increase the risk of infection at the burn site. Make sure to cover the burned area with a clean bandage that will not stick to the burned site. This helps decrease the risk of infection and decreases pain. Lastly, protect the burn. It’s crucial to keep the burn site clean with gentle washing with soap and water. Do not apply any ointments to the burn site unless instructed by your pediatrician. Never apply butter, greases, or other home remedies to a burn before discussing it with your healthcare provider, as these can increase the risk of infection as well.
If you believe that your child is suffering from a third-degree burn and has blisters larger than 2 inches or full-thickness burns with white or charred skin, go to an emergency department. It is important that before coming in you should cover the burn with a sterile dressing or clean washcloth or towel.
Superficial or mild partial thickness burns hurt for about two days and peel like a sunburn in about a week. These burns shouldn’t leave a scar if managed correctly. If the burn is open, your child will need a tetanus booster if it has been more than five years since his/her last tetanus shot, your child has had less than three tetanus shots in his/her lifetime, or if you’re not sure when your child had a tetanus shot last. Your child should get this shot from your pediatrician within three days of the burn. Call your healthcare provider immediately if your child’s burn looks infected. Symptoms include a large red area or streak larger than 2 inches around the burn. A fever may or may not be present. If there is increased redness or notice any signs of infection, bring your child to Chai Care and our top-notch staff will gladly take care of your little one!