Posted in Uncategorized on September 18, 2017
Burns can wreak havoc on victims physically, mentally, and emotionally. Burn victims often have permanent scars or disfigurements, such as amputations. When children encounter burn victims, they may ask rude or awkward questions that place the burn victim in an uncomfortable position. Teaching your child the answers to these questions before they encounter burn victims in real life can make the experience much easier on all involved. Use these frequently asked questions for assistance.
Try to explain burn injuries before your child interacts with a burn victim or survivor. This can save the individual from having to explain these serious injuries to your child. Questions about why the burn victim looks the way he/she does are best answered by parents in an appropriate setting, rather than by the burn victim – who likely struggles with self-image after a disfiguring burn.
Burn scars can look painful, but they do not cause the victim anymore pain as long as they are fully healed wounds. Burn survivors do not suffer from tender or sore skin after recovery. They can do just about anything anyone else can do – go swimming, exercise, wear tight clothing, and touch others. While the skin continues to heal and strengthen, scarred tissue can sustain cuts and scrapes more easily. However, this doesn’t mean a child has to treat a burn survivor more carefully than other people.
No, not completely. Although there are surgeries such as skin grafts that can reduce scarring and disfigurement, by the time the patient has left the hospital and is out and about in society, he or she has already undergone procedures to help the skin heal. At this point, the scars a child sees are likely permanent – although the survivor may have the option to undergo subsequent procedures to help appearances. Burn survivors will never look exactly the same as they did prior to the accident.
Some burn survivors have to wear pressure gloves, masks, and other types of clothing in the first months and year of recovery. Tight clothing can help burned flesh remain flat and smooth while healing, instead of swelling and rising, as it will naturally try to during the recovery process. These items of clothing are normal and do not mean the burn victim is trying to hide his or her scars. The clothing may be necessary for a year or longer after the incident. Burn victims with face masks may take them off periodically to eat and bathe.
Burn injuries are not contagious. Scarring will not spread or affect you if you want to touch, hug, or be around a burn victim. Teach your child to treat burn survivors just like other people. Burn scars may look frightening, but the survivor is just another person. Children should not be afraid to be near burn injury survivors for fear of “catching” the scars. If your child is afraid of being involved in a similar accident in the future, tell him or her that while it is possible, the odds are very slim. Showing your child that burn survivors can lead normal lives may help alleviate some of this fear and worry.