UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Pediatric Burns

Posted: 6/29/2012 by Rose Chasm, MD (Updated: 2/23/2024)
Click here to contact Rose Chasm, MD

Submitted by Dr. Lauren Rice

The summertime can be full of lots of fun activities (beach, fireworks, cookouts, and campfires) that can put children at risk of burns. 

Burn depth classification:

1. Superficial (first-degree): red and blanching with minor pain, resolves in 5-7 days 

2. Partial thickness (second-degree): red and wet with blisters, very painful, resolves in 2-5 weeks

Treatment: clean with soap and water twice daily, and apply silvadene wrap with gauze, kerlex

3. Full thickness (third-degree): dry and leathery without pain, no resolution after 5-6 weeks, may require graft

Treatment:  wound debridement and dressings as above

Parkland formula: 4ml/kg/%TBSA in 1st 24 hours with 50% of total volume in 1st 8 hours

 Calculate burn surface area:

-SAGE: free computerized burn diagram available at

-Rule of Nines > 14 years old

-Rule of Palm <10 years old

Burn Center Referral

-Extent: partial thickness of >30% TBSA or full thickness of >10-20%

-Site: hands, feet, face, perineum, major joints

-Type: electrical, chemical, inhalation



1. Cross, J.T. and Hannaman, R.A. MedStudy Pediatrics Board Review Core Curriculum, 5th edition, p. 3-11, 3-12.

2. Children’s National Medical Center, Department of Trauma and Burn Surgery. Trauma Cheat Sheet.