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Scalded with hot water, cold compress applied, no swelling, blisters. Precautions ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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My 8 month old baby got scalded by hot tap water. I applied cold compress right away. No redness or swelling or blisters noticed yet. Should I be worried. What steps should I take next. This happened 2 hrs ago.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 26 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Your baby came in contact with hot water two hours ago and there are no swellings or blisters till now. That is very fortunate as if the blisters do not appear in the early hours their late appearance is relatively rare.

How large is the area / what parts of the body are in contacted is important?

Applying cold compresses or cold water with for at least 15 minutes takes away all the burning and numbs the skin decreasing the pain sensation.

Now you need to watch for the area of redness or swelling. If nothing of such sort appears then only pain killers like Acetaminophen given orally will take away the burning sensation the child might feel. Give it according to the weight of the baby which your doctor would have prescribed during earlier meetings. You can also apply some honey on the affected area for local relief.

Gradually the skin becomes brown in mild burns cases and the scar falls off in 7-10 days.

If the pain is unresolved or it bothers you much, please contact ER / appointment with Pediatrician tomorrow.

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Scalded with hot water, cold compress applied, no swelling, blisters. Precautions ? 10 hours later
Hi there and thanks for your prompt reply.

It has been approximately 12 hrs since the scalding and it was more his lower legs and feet. There is still no swelling, redness or browning of the skin.
I am not too sure about the pain as he slept through the night. On waking he was crawling and trying to walk, his usual activities.

Now he is asleep again for his morning nap and does not appear to be in any distress. Although I know it can take up to 24hrs sometimes for effects of a burn to show.

I am wondering if I should take him to the doctor or ER.

This happened with my daughter once also, although she was much older. I just applied cold compress immediately and she was fine. No blistering and no intervention needed by the doctor.

Any further advice or precautions would be very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 19 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

Your child seems to be alright. There is no need of taking him to ER right now. You can do the self monitoring of the affected area and in case any warning symptoms like excessive pain, swelling or blisters appear you can consult your pediatrician for further line of action.

Sincerely, hope it will help.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Scalded with hot water, cold compress applied, no swelling, blisters. Precautions ? 11 hours later
Hi Dr. Tayal,

So it has been more than 24hrs since the accident. No redness, swelling, blisters or pain. I guess I should thank God for this lucky escape.

Should I assume that all is well now or continue to monitor as you advised.

I would appreciate any further recommendations.

Thank you in advance for all your help.

Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 1 hour later

Good to hear from you again.

Yes the crisis is almost over. Just take care of him and give him plenty of fluids and if any mild redness appears later you can apply neosporin ointment.

Hope this answers your query.

Wishing your son an early recovery.
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