Burns in Children

When your child suffers from a burn, whether from a fire, chemical or electrical source, you want the best care possible. That care is right here. Our regional burn center provides the most advanced treatment options for all levels of burn care, from intensive care to rehabilitation to outpatient care. We focus on returning your child to his or her highest level of functioningnot just physically, but psychologically and socially as well.

Burns can range from mild to life threatening. Though a mild burn, called first-degree, can often be treated at home, others need emergency medical care. For expertise from the first minutes under our emergency care to recovery to continued care once your child has healed physically from their burn, we are here every step of the way with you.

Treatments for Burns in Children

When your child's burn needs medical attention, we're ready in our Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center—and continued care thanks to our burn care specialists right here at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital. Second and third degree burns require close medical attention, as they can cause extensive scarring but also are prone to infection and can lead to other medical emergencies.

Our treatment focuses not just on healing the burn but preventing infection and scarring as much as possible. We’re also focused on helping your child manage pain, removing any dead tissue and helping your child regain function of any part affected by the burn. For severe burns, this may require treatments such as medicine, wound dressing, surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation and even lifelong assisted care. Emotional support is also an important part of healing. Our local Burn Camp for kids and other support groups help us provide holistic care for children who have experienced severe burns.

Burn Camp
We work in collaboration with the YMCA Camp Manitou-Lin to create a special week for kids who have suffered from burns. The camp is a place for healing and acceptance and is open to any child treated at any burn center in Michigan, free of charge.

Cleaning and Bandaging
Proper, careful cleaning and bandaging of burns not only helps the skin heal better, but prevents infection as well.

Pain and Anxiety Medicine
Your child may need help with dealing with the pain and anxiety that comes along with severe burns. We use our specialized pediatric knowledge of medicines to provide just the right type and dosage of medicines to help your child while they are healing.

Skin Grafts
Sometimes a skin graft is required to fix damage in second and third degree burns. We do this by taking healthy skin from another area of the body and moving it to the area of the burned skin.

Nutritional Support
Burn victims often have a noticeably increased metabolism as the body works to heal itself. We'll provide additional nutrition to meet those needs. A feeding tube may be used to assist in helping your child get the nutrition their healing body needs.