Summer Burn Injuries and Safety Tips

summer burn injuries

Summertime often brings a welcome break from school and work routine, but it can also get dangerous – especially when it comes to burns. According to the National Fire Protection Association, fires caused by children playing with fire, fireworks, and matches increase by 50 percent during the summer months, with an average of 300 children treated in U.S. hospitals each day for burn-related injuries.

What Are the Types of Burns?

Burns occur in three degrees:

    • First degree

First-degree burns are painful but least severe. The burns are small, raised, and may be round or oval. They can be caused by sunburn, candle burns, hot food, radiation, and fireworks.

    • Second-degree burns

Second-degree burns are painful but not nearly as severe as the third degree. When you have a second-degree burn, hold the burned skin under cool, not cold, running water and protect the burn. If you have severe pain, redness, swelling, and fever, visit an emergency room near you. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers, including topical pain relief and creams designed to treat burns.

    • Third-degree burns

Burns on the feet, hands, face, etc., are called third-degree burns and are the most severe. They can cause severe damage to the nerves and bones and are very painful. They can be treated in the Waco emergency room or by a hospital burn specialist.

How to Treat Minor Burns

Slight redness, blisters, or swelling is normal after a burn. To treat burns:

  1. Keep the area clean and dry, and apply pressure.
  2. If the burn is small, use a cold compress or ice pack for 15 minutes a few times a day.
  3. If the burn covers more than 10% of the total body surface area, call 911 or get to a 24-hour ER.

When to Call Your Doctor?

While minor burns can be treated at home, call your doctor to ensure proper burn injury treatment. Do not dig at the burn, as this may cause more damage. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, heat, pain, pus, or blisters. Apply a cool, wet cloth to the burn to help it heal, and do not put a dressing on the burn.

A burn may need additional treatment at the emergency room, such as a burn ointment.

Burn Safety Tips

Never cook on a grill or in a fire pit without an adequate screen to protect against the flames. Keep a child’s play area at least 10 feet away from any heat source, including the grill. Never leave children unattended at home when grilling. Children should wear long sleeves, closed-toe shoes, and pants when grilling.


    1. Don’t Spark Trouble

If you plan a backyard cookout this summer, make sure you have plenty of water and ice available to prevent flare-ups. Alcohol, grease, or smoking is a recipe for a flame-up.

    1. Pay attention to fires. To help you avoid the summer heat and burn hazards, make sure you always have your fire extinguisher near your grill.
    2. Keep fireworks away from children. Never let kids stand near a firework.
    3. Create Burn Boundaries. The sun is a powerful natural source of light and heat that can cause serious burns. Children are more vulnerable to the sun’s harmful effects because they are not as aware of the dangers.

To protect your child from summer burns, you should ensure that they wear sunscreen, try to stay in the shade when possible, and avoid tanning beds.

If you have a fire pit, keep children at least three feet away from the pit’s perimeter.

  1. Barbeques are the quintessential family activity and a great way to mark the start of summer, but make sure you do it right. First, purchase a good grill. Second, make sure you can maintain it properly. Grills that aren’t cleaned properly will quickly break down. Third, make sure you have the proper tools. Barbeques are easier to manage when you have the right tools. Fourth, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, show kids how to do this safely.

Take Action

Visit Express Emergency Room Waco for treatment when you have severe burns or if you notice an infection.

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