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Emergency care of moderate and severe thermal burns in children

Mark D Joffe, MD
Section Editor
Richard G Bachur, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


Burns are the fourth leading cause of accidental death (following motor vehicle/pedestrian and drowning injuries) among children in the United States [1]. Although mortality and hospitalization from serious burn injuries has declined as the result of advances in burn care and the implementation of prevention strategies, children with moderate and severe burn injuries require intensive treatment and often experience scarring and long-term disability [2-4].

Early identification and treatment of associated injuries, fluid resuscitation, and prompt referral of children with major burns to burn centers improve outcomes.

This topic will review the emergency care of moderate and severe thermal burns in children, corresponding to partial and full thickness burns (table 1). The care of adult burn patients, minor thermal burns, smoke inhalation, chemical burns to the skin and eye, electrical injuries, and ongoing burn management, are discussed separately.

(See "Emergency care of moderate and severe thermal burns in adults".)

(See "Treatment of minor thermal burns".)


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Literature review current through: Apr 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 18, 2015.
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