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January 11, 2012

How to Care for Your Child After Being Discharged Home (Part II)

Itching:
Itching occurs with healing and newly healed burned areas. Itching can be a major problem for some children when they are in the hospital as well as after being discharged home. Itching is caused by the overlapping tissues formed by the scar itself. This tissue lack the nerve endings that is present in normal skin but due to the surrounding normal tissue that still has nerve endings, they become stimulated by scar tissue thus the characteristic itch kicks in. Itching should decrease as scar tissue matures. Itching can disturb or even prevent your child's sleeping. Although it's hard, try to prevent your child from scraching the burned areas as these areas are still raw (immature) and may bleed easily or get infected with continous or vigorous scraching.
Among the things that help in decreasing your child's itching are:

  • Keeping the burned area lubricated by applying cream and massage the burned areas on a regular basis.

  • Wearing loose clothes made of natural materials such as 100% cotton with light colors.

  • Avoiding clothes or elastics over the clothes like waistbands.

  • Avoiding your child of prespiring and becoming hot.

  • Encourage your child to wear compression garments as prescribed. Compression (pressure) garments must be worn 23 hours a day and taken off only when bathing your child.

  • Clip your child's fingernails regularly, there are certian gloves that your child can wear to prevent him/her from scraching the burned area.

  • Tell your child whenever possible to elevate the affected area.

  • If itching becomes severe or prblematic for your child, please call your doctor as he/ she may prescribe medications that can help with itching.


  • Applying lotion or cream:
    Healing burn wounds as well as skin grafts, donor sites and scars all require creaming on a regular basis to prevent these areas from becoming dry, becoming sore and cracking. The reason for that is because the healing and newly healed skin is unable to lubricate itself in the same way as the normal skin does.

    These are some helpful tips regarding applying lotions or creams on your child's affected areas:

  • Apply the lotion or cream as often as needed, follow the instructions given to you, this should be repeated 2-3 times a day. It may be needed more often if the your child's skin is particularly dry.

  • Use enough lotion or cream to lightly lubricate your child's skin. Gently rub and massage the cream until it disappears, the skin shouldn't feel greasy after putting the lotion rather it should feel moist and soft.

  • Massage involves firm pressure in circular waves over the scar.

  • Avoid using lotions or creams recommended by your friends or family, also avoid using lotions or creams containing chemicals or perfumes as healing and newly healed skin is very sensitive and can be damaged by the wrong lubricant.

  • It's important that you cleanse your child's skin every day as the build up of lotion or cream may cause skin irritation and clog the skin pores. Excessive lotions or creams can also damage pressure garments


  • This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.