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 Integrative Medicine: Burns 
Your child may suffer a burn from dry heat (fire or sun); moist heat (steam or hot liquids); corrosive chemicals; or electricity.

An encounter with electricity can be particularly dangerous. A severe electrical shock may knock your child unconscious, and he may stop breathing. There may be deep burns at the point where the current entered the body, as well as internal damage.

Depending on the location, extent, and cause of the burn, your child may need immediate medical care. A burn can cause scarring, which may limit functioning of the burned area. Regardless of their size and severity, burns on the face, the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, or on or near a joint can have serious implications. Burns in these areas should always be checked by a doctor and watched with special care. Any burn should be watched for signs of a possible infection.

When evaluating your child's burn, here's what to look for.

  • A first-degree burn involves only the epidermis, the upper layer of the skin. The area is hot, red, and painful, but without swelling or blistering. Sunburn is usually a first-degree burn.

  • A second-degree burn involves the epidermis and part of the underlying skin layers. The pain is severe. The area is pink or red and mottled, and is usually moist and seeping, moderately swollen, and blistered.

  • Because it involves injury to all layers of the skin, a third-degree burn is also called a full-thickness burn. This severe burn destroys the nerves and blood vessels in the skin. Because the nerves are damaged, there is little or no pain at first. The affected area may be white, yellow, black, or cherry red. The skin may appear dry and leathery.

  • A fourth-degree burn extends through the skin and penetrates into underlying structures, such as muscle and bone. It looks and feels like a third-degree burn, but it does greater damage to the body.

Emergency Treatment for Burns

Remove the cause. All burns should be treated first by removing the cause-putting out flames, washing off chemicals, or breaking electrical contact. If your child's clothing is on fire, douse him with water or wrap him in a blanket and place him on the ground to put out the flames.

For electrical bums. In the case of electrical shock, your inclination will probably be to snatch your child out of harm's way. Don't You may receive a severe shock yourself and become unable to help your child. To break electrical contact safely, first switch off the current. If that is not possible (as in the case of a live wire) use a nonconductive item, such as a wooden broom handle, to lift or push the source of the current away from your child. Always take your child to the emergency room for medical evaluation after an electrical burn, even if he seems to have suffered only a minor burn.

For chemical burns. If your child suffers a chemical burn from a corrosive liquid, immediately flood the area with cool running water to dilute and wash away the chemical.

(Excerpted from Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child ISBN: 1583331395)
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 About The Author
Janet Zand LAc, OMDJANET ZAND, O.M.D., L.Ac. is a nationally respected author, lecturer, practitioner and herbal products formulator whose work has helped thousands of people achieve better health....more
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