For over 50 years, Shriners Children’s team of burn care specialists has taken care of children with all types of burns, from superficial injuries to large burns requiring an intensive level of care.
Shriners Children’s researchers and clinical specialists have contributed to major advancements in acute and reconstructive burn care since the 1960s. Extensive research, innovative technologies and a mission to provide burn prevention education to the public have resulted in a dramatic increase in survival rates and positive outcomes for children. If your child is burned, know that our multidisciplinary team has the expertise to care for your child and guide you through every step of the healing process.
Third degree burns are also referred to as full thickness burns and are among the most serious burn injuries. Third degree burns destroy all layers of the skin and may even extend beyond the skin into muscle. This type of injury can be deceptively painless because the burn destroys nerve endings.
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 second degree burn in one area and a third degree burn in another. Very young children have thinner skin overall, so an injury may be more serious than first thought. Estimating the burn degree in the first few days after an injury is difficult because the depth actually changes (usually getting deeper). It is important to have your child seen by a burn care specialist.
At Shriners Children’s, we understand just how traumatic a burn injury of this magnitude can be. All the specialists your child may need will be available when you come to Shriners Children's for care. Your child’s surgeons, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and care managers understand the concerns of children and parents navigating this journey. They will assess your child’s burn injury and develop a treatment plan to produce the best outcomes. This often begins with excising and grafting the burn as soon as possible after the injury. This process reduces the risk of infection, usually resulting in a shorter hospital stay.
Child life specialists can help reduce the stresses associated with staying in the hospital and they can teach your child coping skills. They accomplish this by providing opportunities for your child to play, learn and interact with others in an emotionally safe environment.
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.
A Comprehensive Care Plan
As your child heals, the Shriners Children’s care team will create a comprehensive care plan that will address all your child’s needs. Whether it is utilizing the latest treatments available for scar management, such as pressure garment therapy or laser treatments to reduce scarring, or improving your child’s function and mobility through occupational, physical and recreational therapy, our staff has the expertise and compassion to help your child heal. One of our care managers will be your go-to point person to address all your concerns from the first day you arrive at the hospital and as your child transitions from inpatient to outpatient care and is back to home, school and the community.
Continued Care Supports a Life Without Limits
Shriners Children's believes in providing children with serious burn injuries the type of care that supports an opportunity for that child to live a "life without limits," despite their injuries. This includes ongoing scar management as the child grows into adulthood. Occupational and physical therapists also work with children to develop the tools they need to regain their mobility and achieve the best outcomes.
Shriners Children's knows that a burn injury is life altering both for the child and for the family. That's why we offer full support and instruction for the child's care provider before going home. Patients and their family members also have access to psychological therapy throughout their inpatient stay, and throughout their extended care at Shriners Children's.
To assist patients and families with returning home, Shriners Children's offers a school re-entry program. Managed by our child life staff and psychologists, the purpose of the program is to ease a child's transition back into their school and community. Our child life staff can share presentations and videos with your child's school or even accompany your child back into the classroom to talk with their fellow students and teachers.
Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.
Leaders in Laser Medicine
Today, clinical practice is changing and doctors may recommend allowing some less severe wounds to heal on their own, without grafting, eliminating additional donor site scarring. After healing has occurred, plastic surgeons at Shriners Children’s can use pulsed dye and CO2 lasers to minimize thick raised hypertrophic scars and restore the skin to its pre-injury state. In cases where grafting was necessary and hypertrophic scars develop, lasers are very effective at reducing the scars and improving the patient’s overall appearance without further surgery.
Perhaps one of the best patient benefits of the innovative lasers treatments is the ease with which they are completed. Patients may receive laser treatment for scarring on an outpatient basis so treatment does not interfere with a child’s schoolwork or social life.
Shriners turned a bad experience for her into a great adventure. She loves being here. And, she loves the care that’s been given to her.