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At Shriners Children’s our team of burn care specialists treats all types of burns, from superficial injuries to large burns requiring an intensive level of care.

A first degree burn is considered a superficial injury that damages the top-most layer of the skin. This type of burn will appear as dry and red, and will typically not blister. While first degree burns are very painful, they should heal on their own within two to five days, with no permanent scarring. A mild to moderate sunburn is a common example of a first degree burn.

Proper assessment of any burn is very important. Burns are almost never uniform in depth. The thickness of a person’s skin varies so a burn may be a first degree burn in one area and a second degree burn in another. Very young children have thinner skin overall, so an injury that seems superficial could be more serious than first thought. Estimating the degree of burn in the first few days after an injury is difficult because the depth actually changes (usually getting deeper). A burn that initially looks like a first degree burn may develop blistering within 12 hours. If this happens to your child’s injury, it has likely become a second degree burn.

When your child is treated at Shriners Children’s you know the outcome is in the hands of the medical leaders in burn care. Our compassionate and skilled physicians and nurses will walk you through every step of the healing process with the most innovative burn care treatments available.

Shriners Children's Burn Care Accreditation

Three Shriners Children's locations providing burn care are accredited by the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) as verified pediatric burn centers.

We have a strong connection to and history with the ABA. All of the Shriners Children's burn care chiefs of staff at the above locations have been presidents of the ABA. These distinctions display the depth of the burn care support services we provide, as well as the vast amounts of research we lead on behalf of our patients and children around the world who’ve been burned.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Treatment of First Degree Burns

A first degree burn is painful and can cause great discomfort. If your child has a first-degree burn, try these remedies:

  • Apply cool compresses to your child’s skin or suggest a cool bath to soothe the burn.
  • To take the sting out of the first degree burn, gently rub on a cream or gel containing ingredients such as aloe. Try refrigerating the cream first to make it feel even better on your child’s sunburned skin.
  • Use an over the counter pain reliever with acetaminophen. Be sure to use the proper dose for your child’s age and weight.
  • Make sure you child stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Never apply ice on a burn. If symptoms are severe, seek medical attention from a healthcare facility with pediatric burn care expertise.

We wouldn’t have been able to get her the care she needed without Shriners [Children’s]. The Shriners are our children’s guardian angels!
Terry, Boston
male physician speaking with female patient

An Innovative Approach For Treating Children's Scars

Shriners Children’s leads the way in advanced technologies and innovative treatments to minimize scars in children. Most patients receive laser surgery for scarring on an outpatient basis – so treatment continues without interfering with a child’s schoolwork or social life.

Innovative Treatments

View All Related Treatments

Burn Surgery

At Shriners Children’s, our world-class surgical team provides specialized care and life-changing treatment to children with burn injuries.

Plastic Surgery

Shriners Children’s experienced pediatric plastic surgeons use reconstructive plastic surgery techniques to bring hope and healing to families dealing with differences involving the face, jaw, eyelids, ears, breasts or skin.

Reconstructive Surgery

Shriners Children’s provides innovative, personalized care for children with reconstructive needs.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Following Burn Injury

Shriners Children's inpatient rehabilitation advances healing and mobility following a burn injury

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.