Burn injuries whether it is first degree, second degree or third degree are very common and can happen to anyone; they can be devastating and life changing. It is estimated that 11 million burned patients worldwide needed medical attention in 2004 and about 300,000 patients died as a result of that (Peck, 2011). In the US more than 300 children ranging between the ages of 0-19 years are treated in the emergency room on a daily bases as a result of injuries related to burns and 2 children die as a result of their burns (CDC Data, 2012).
The most common complication of burn, is infection (Herndon, 2012). Signs and symptoms of infection may include; fever, foul smelling discharge from the area, increased redness in the surrounding area of the burn, increased swelling in the area and increased tenderness (pain) in the area. It’s very important to look for signs and symptoms of infection and contact your care provider right away if you notice any of the above symptoms.
It is important to keep your burns clean to avoid infection. When bathing the burn area, the first thing to do before getting into the shower or tub is to test the temperature of the water as the burned and new skin is sensitive to extreme cold or extreme hot water and can be injured easily. To avoid hot water burns and scalds, set the thermostat on your hot water heater to below 120 degree Fahrenheit (48.9 C).