Looking for something?

Find it in our extensive resource library!

Smart Filters

  • Reset
  • Services

  • Who it's for

  • What it’s about

  • Format

View: 446

Download: 3

Going back to school after a burn injury

Going back to school is a very important step in a child’s healing after a burn injury. Learning and being with friends is important to your child’s progress. It is normal for you or your child to be worried about going back to school. Although this step might feel scary, we encourage the child to return to his or her familiar school environment, with the right support in place.

When should my child go back to school?

After spending time in hospital or away from school while the burn injury was healing, the sooner your child gets back to their routine the better. While each child’s injury is individual, when the burn has completely healed, we advise it is safe to go back to school. What your child is able to do and the way your child feels will depend on the parts of the body affected by the burn, the size of the burn, and their level of self-confidence. None of these things should keep your child from going back to school.

Alterations to uniform

It may be necessary for some aspects of your child’s uniform to be altered depending on the location of the burn. For example, trainers or soft footwear may be recommended if the injury was on the foot.


Getting back to school after a burn injury is an important part of your child getting back to their everyday life. Working with the hospital team and school to set up a good reintegration plan will allow the transition to be as smooth as possible and help your child and family to adjust.


Your child may still be taking regular medication that they need during the school day, particularly if they are very itchy. The nursing team will be able to help you with this.

Sun care

Your child’s healed burn will be particularly sensitive to sunlight for 2 years. Therefore, they will need to cover the area or wear factor 50 sunblock if they are outside at school on a bright day. This may include wearing protective clothing that is not part of the normal school uniform, such as a hat and sunglasses.

How can I plan for my child to go back to school?

The plan for your child to go back to school should include your child and family, the school and the nursing and therapy staff at the hospital. Keep the school informed about your child’s progress from an early stage. This will allow them to organise work for your child to do while they are off school and help to plan for their return.

Talk to your child about going back to school. It will be reassuring for your child to know that they will be able to get back to familiar routines and be with friends. Talk to the nursing and therapy team about the kind of help your child will need at school and how your child’s school can best support them.

What activities can my child participate in?

It is important for your child to get back to everyday activities as soon as possible. When they are back to school, we would encourage them to keep active and participate in their normal lessons and activities, including swimming.

However, depending on the injury and whether your child has had surgery may mean that there are certain activities that they cannot do straight away, as this may risk the newly healed skin breaking down. These generally include contact sports, rough play or activities where there is a risk your child may get knocked or fall over. In some cases, that may mean limiting outdoor play for a period of time. Speak with your therapy team about when your child is able to restart these types of activities.

What might my child need help with?

Your child’s school may need to make some accommodations to support your child’s return. It’s good to be in discussion from an early stage about what your child may need. These accommodations may include:

A flexible schedule

For example, your child may need to gradually build up to returning for a full day or week. It is also often helpful for your child to start and finish lessons 51 to 0 minutes before and after the rest of the class in order to give them some extra space.

Help with scar management during school hours

Your child may have a scar management plan that they need support with. It will include regular creaming and massage and may also include the use of scar gel, pressure garments and splints. This is in order to encourage the healed skin to remain as soft as possible and prevent tightening.

Personal assistance

Your child may need help with going to the bathroom, getting changed for PE or other everyday activities at school. Particularly if they are wearing pressure garments or splints.

Help taking notes

This may include the use of a computer or equipment or having someone else take notes for them if their dominant hand has been affected.

Changes to physical education

Your child’s PE class may need to be adjusted or changed. Your therapists will be able to tell you which activities are safe to participate in.

Is something missing from this resource that you think should be included? Please let us know

Contact us


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: BU1

Resource Type: Article

How useful did you find this resource?*


Western Bank
S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

Interesting Facts

We’ve got a special MRI scanner just for teddies so children can see what it’s like before they have a scan.

Help to transform our extraordinary hospital into something even better.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.