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Going home from the burns unit

Medication for pain


Do not give more than 4 doses per day.

Give the dose suggested on the bottle, unless otherwise instructed, one hour before your child’s appointment. If your child is in pain from their burn injury they can have paracetamol every 6 hours (no more than 4 doses in 24 hours).


Do not give more than 3 doses per day.

Give the dose suggested on the bottle, unless otherwise instructed, one hour before your child’s appointment. If your child is in pain from their burn injury they can have ibuprofen every 8 hours (no more than 3 doses in 24 hours).

Paracetamol and ibuprofen may be given together if required and enough time has passed since the last dose.


There should be labels and instructions on your medication, if you are unsure or have questions, the ward staff are available 24 hours a day if you wish to seek advice.


It is very common for burns to itch as they are healing, and scratching can lead to problems with sleep, wound healing, infection and damage to newly healed skin.

If you notice itch, please give chlorphenamine (Piriton) and let the nursing staff know as soon as possible as there are other treatment options available to keep itch under control if necessary. Give your child dose as instructed by the label.


It is important for your child to keep moving after a burn injury as it is not unusual for them to become stiff and the injured area to feel ‘tight’. The therapy team will review your child on weekday appointments and will provide your child with exercises to complete at home.

Please let us know if you are struggling with these or have any questions or concerns. Make sure your child has adequate pain relief to be able to move as much as possible.

Infection prevention

Sometimes scald or burn wounds can get an infection called Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) or Sepsis.

If your child begins to show any of these symptoms, please contact the Burns Unit urgently for advice. They may ask you to return to the Burns Unit so they can assess your child. Please come prepared for the possibility your child may need to be admitted. Some of the symptoms of these illnesses are listed below.

  • high temperature
  • rash across legs or tummy
  • diarrhoea
  • being sick
  • lethargic or tired
  • refusing food or bottles


The Burns nurses will have put a dressing or bandages over your child’s wound. This dressing must be kept in place until your next appointment. It must be kept clean and dry to prevent infection getting into the wound.

If it gets wet, very dirty or falls off please ring the Burns Unit immediately and arrange to return for a new dressing to be put on.


It is important to encourage your child to eat a healthy, high protein diet to help the wound to heal. We advise that you increase the dairy foods you offer your child. If your child is not eating as normal please ask the nurses for advice.

What happens at the next appointment?

You will have been given an appointment by the nurse. You should receive a text confirming the appointment time and date. If you are unable to attend your appointment for any reason please contact us as soon as possible.


It is very important to give your child their paracetamol and ibuprofen an hour before their appointment time, otherwise this may delay your treatment. 

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: BU8

Resource Type: Article

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