Burns and scalds in babies
As your baby explores the world around them, they may come into
contact with something that can burn or scald them. A burn is
usually caused by dry heat, like a flame or fire, a hot iron, or
sunshine. A scald is caused by wet heat, like steam or a hot cup of
Read the advice below to find out how to treat your baby if they
have a burn or a scald. You may also need to treat them for
Watch our video - what to do if your baby has a burn or
What to look for:
- They may cry or appear to be in pain
- You may see reddened or a swollen patch of skin
- There may be blisters
- You may see peeling skin
What to do if your baby has a burn or scald
1. Run the area under cold water: move your
baby away from the source of heat and cool the burn or scald by
running it under cold water. Don’t use ice, creams or gels – they
can damage tissues and increase the risk of infection.
2. Remove the clothing around the burn unless
it’s stuck to it.
3. Protect from infection: cover the burn with
cling film or a clean plastic bag to protect it from infection.
Don't wrap the cling film too tightly as it can cut off
4. Always seek medical advice if your baby has a burn or a
scald. Serious burns or scalds are where the burn is on the face,
hands or feet, if the injured area is larger than the size of the
baby’s hand, or if it’s a deep burn. Serious burns need emergency
treatment - call 999 or 112.
5. While you are waiting for help, treat them for
shock if necessary.