You asked

How can I tell if a burn is serious and needs medical care?

The severity of a burn is determined by a healthcare professional based on how badly the skin is damaged. There are four main types of burns:
 
·         Superficial epidermal (first-degree) burns
·         Superficial dermal (second-degree) burns
·         Deep dermal or partial thickness (second-degree) burns, and
·         Full thickness (third-degree) burns
 
Superficial Epidermal (First-Degree) Burns
Superficial epidermal burns occur when the epidermis is damaged. Your skin will be red, slightly swollen and painful but not blistered.
 
Superficial Dermal (Second-Degree) Burns
Superficial dermal burns occur when the epidermis and part of the dermis are damaged. Your skin will be pale pink, painful and there may be small blisters.
 
Deep Dermal Or Partial Thickness (Second-Degree) Burns
Deep dermal or partial thickness burns occur when the epidermis and the dermis are damaged. This type of burn makes your skin turn red and blotchy. The skin may also be dry or moist, become swollen and blistered, and it may be very painful or painless.
 
Full Thickness (Third-Degree) Burns
Full thickness burns occur when all three layers of skin (the epidermis, dermis and subcutis) are damaged. With this kind of burn, the skin is often burnt away and the tissue underneath may appear pale or blackened. The remaining skin will be dry and white, brown or black with no blisters. The texture of the skin may also be leathery or waxy.
 
 
 

More questions

If a cut is too severe to treat at home then it is important to take your child to A&E or to your GP as stitches may be required. Go straight to the A&E if the cut is to an artery or if the bleeding will not stop.
The wound should heal itself in a few days. If the wound is painful, you can take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
Generally speaking, most cuts and grazes are minor and can be easily treated at home.
There are lots of different dressings for minor burns and scalds. There is no particular dressing that works better than others, the important thing is to keep your burn clean and covered with a dressing.
The severity of a burn is determined by a healthcare professional based on how badly the skin is damaged.
A child’s skin is thinner and more sensitive than that of an adult so a burn can be more serious.
Although a bee sting can be painful, it is usually fairly harmless.
Electric shocks can be serious or minor so how do you know what to do?
Toddlers often get bruises but when should you be concerned?
Accidental poisoning happens when children get their hands on unsuspectingly hazardous items lying around the house. Ensure you thoroughly inspect every room of your house!

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