Comprehensive and Compassionate Care
Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida is dedicated to keeping kids and families close to home for specialized medical care, so we are proud to announce the addition of a pediatric burn treatment service for children suffering from minor burns. The burn service provides comprehensive care – either in the Emergency Department or through our Outpatient Pediatric Surgery Office.
Caregivers should know that most pediatric burns are related to normal childhood development. Toddlers and preschoolers are naturally curious, and that can lead to common household accidents involving scalding from hot liquid and touching hot surfaces such as light bulbs or curling irons. Most of these burns are minor, but even minor burns are painful and can put a child at risk for dangerous infections.
Our team is trained to treat every burn seriously. We know that visiting the hospital can be a scary experience, and some procedures can be painful and traumatic. We are trained to help calm fear, ease pain, and help your child and family through a stressful time. Our team will answer your questions every step of the way.
Burn and Wound Program Services
Our Pediatric Surgical Team – Dr. Robert Minkes, Dr. Evans Valerie, Dr. Damian Maxwell, and Dr. Amy Stanfill – lead the burn service. We treat:
- Patients who have burns that cover less than 20 percent of the body
- Any minor burn that causes pain, discomfort, or threat of infection
- Patients who have not suffered burns to their faces or genital areas
- Patients who have not suffered major burns to their joints
What to Expect
- The Pediatric Emergency Room Team: We assess your child as soon as they arrive and then discuss the case with the Pediatric Surgery Team.
- The Pediatric Surgery Team will assess the burn injury and come up with a treatment plan that may include admission to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
- The Pediatric ICU Team will provide ongoing medical care for your child until they are sent home. After discharge, we will follow up with the Outpatient Surgery Clinic.
- The Outpatient Surgery Clinic will provide ongoing treatment for your child’s burn injury, which may include dressing changes or removing damaged or infected tissue in the Pediatric Sedation Center.
- The Pediatric Sedation Center will provide child-friendly and pain-free burn care to your child while keeping them out of the hospital.
- Our Child Life Specialists are highly trained and provide ongoing assessments of a child’s development, coping skills, and unique needs throughout all the different steps. They will be involved in all aspects of the child’s care and offer techniques to help children prepare for procedures, keep them distracted, and improve their recovery.
What Do We Check for?
Specialists will examine your child for burn symptoms:
- Blistered skin
- Skin with a wet or shiny sheen
- Skin that is painful to the touch
- Skin that is white or has irregular colors
Our team will ask a child, parent, and caregiver how the child was burned and will also ask questions about medical history. A doctor may then order more tests to discover the depth of the burn, any possible infections, or underlying damage. That can include:
- Blood and urine tests
- Electrocardiogram to determine heart function
- CT or MRI scan to examine bones, soft tissue, and organs
- Scintigraphy, which uses radiation to capture an image of bodily organs and record their functions
- Neurological tests
Be Sure to See a Doctor:
- If your child’s burn causes large blisters, lots of pain, swelling, signs of infection such as oozing
- If the burn or blister doesn’t heal
- If your child shows signs of any internal injuries such as shortness of breath or chest/abdominal pain
- If the burn affects a large portion of skin on the face or major joint
How Will a Child’s Burn be Treated?
The treatment of your child’s burn will depend on the severity of condition along with age, location of the burn, and cause of the burn. Specialists will make every effort to ensure your child is comfortable and free of pain.
Typical burn treatments include:
- Balms and ointments
- Wound care and dressing
Some burn treatments may include:
- Pain medication and sedation
- Surgery to ease the constriction and tightening of the wound or remove damaged tissue
- Physical or occupational therapy to ensure your child maintains natural, normal functions
What Happens Next?
Your child’s burn dressing will need to be regularly changed, but we understand that changing dressings can be painful. The sedation center’s expertise ensures that dressings are done carefully, with a focus on easing a child’s discomfort. Child life specialists will talk your child through the process to make the process less frightening.
Caregivers can schedule dressing changes in the sedation center in coordination with the pediatric surgical team after the hospital discharges your child.
The Golisano Children’s Hospital has an eye toward the future: Our burn service specialists thoroughly examine and document each case to build a database that includes causes, percentages of body surfaces burned, referral sources, treatments, and much more so that we can streamline our methods and eventually expand the service. The idea is to spot trends so that we can help more children and families throughout the region with outreach, prevention, and safety.