While being a registered nurse and herbalist prepares you to handle emergency situations effectively and efficiently as naturally as possible, when it’s you’re own child in the situation, it feels completely different! Today, I’d like to share how I approached my toddler’s second-degree burn with herbs from start to finish in hopes that this helps other parents out there if needed.
How it all began…
It was an average evening. My two older kids were playing in their room, building some Lego masterpiece, I was working on the computer, and my husband had just built a “hot” as my 2-year-old likes to call our woodstove fires. Dad was in the kitchen fixing the dog some food and my little guy was running through the house showing how fast he was.
An hour or so later as we were all getting ready to eat dinner, my little man decided to get a bit closer to the “hot” than he normally does, and he burned his wrist by touching the top of the stove.
Now let me add in here that we’ve gone through many, many training exercises of not touching the stove and about what hot is and feels like. I suppose there’s nothing like a first-hand experience, and at his age, whatever he was doing or trying to put on top of the stove was just too tempting to obey mama and daddy. Now that he’s been burned, he’s very cautious around that stove though.
Herbal Care for a Second-Degree Burn
So, as soon as he burned himself, we heard him immediately start crying and went to check out his boo-boo. He had a 1 inch by 1/2 inch burn right across the underside of his wrist where he’d touched the edge of the stove. It didn’t look bad… more like a white patch, but I immediately went into a natural nurse mama action mode.
Step 1: Cool the burn. He did not want his hand stuck under cool running water so we kept switching out cool rags to put on his wrist until he calmed down a bit, and I felt like the majority of the heat was gone.
Both of these things seemed to help him, so we went about our evening as we normally do.
The next morning, we’d all forgotten about it, but in the middle of the day he randomly started crying and holding his hand out to me saying “ow”. I looked at his burn to see what the problem was. Overnight, it must have turned into a blister, and he had rubbed his wrist up against something, scraping the blister, popping it, and exposing that raw area. It looked nasty, and I actually saw how bad of a burn it really was — a second-degree burn. I knew I needed to do something to help it repair itself and to prevent infection or scarring, so I started thinking.
Step 1: I gathered my supplies to make a bandage over the burn so he’d leave it alone and let it heal. I grabbed some non-stick gauze squares, fun band-aids, my homemade burn cream, lavender essential oil, and then got to work.
Step 2: I cut each gauze square in half so that I had a small rectangle that would fit perfectly over the burn area. I applied a bit of homemade burn cream to the gauze, 1 drop of lavender essential oil, and placed it on top of the second-degree burn. I then covered it with the two bandaids to secure it in place.
My little guy didn’t like it at first. Most little ones don’t like bandages put over them, but the fun band-aids helped as did covering it up with his sleeve and distracting him with something else. Out of sight, out of mind, eh?
I left this bandage on all day and took it off at bedtime so it could get some air.
*Update: After further research, for minor wounds, I follow the dry wound healing protocol, and for more severe wounds, I follow the moist wound healing protocol. If I had it to do again, I would leave this wound covered and moist.
Day 3 – Day 5
For the next three days, I repeated this process every day. Ointment on during the day while he played and open to air at night while he slept.
The second-degree burn was pretty nasty looking at first, but the ointment was definitely helping it to repair itself and discourage infection.
Day 6 – Day 9
Since the burn was definitely healing, and I didn’t want to keep bandaging it every day, I decided to alternate days of ointment and days of air. That means that on day six it was open to the air, day seven it was bandaged with ointment, so on and so forth. At this point, I was mainly using the ointment and lavender essential oil to assist with minimizing scarring.
Day 10 – Day 14
During this period, the second-degree burn was entirely healed. New skin had filled it in, but it was still red in that area, so during this time I only used the lavender essential oil diluted in the sweet almond oil. I rubbed this on it every morning when he woke up and every evening when he went to bed.
And that was it. The second-degree burn was healed, there were no signs of scarring, and my little man was happy and healthy — and staying a good distance from our stove.
I’m sharing this so that if you ever experience a small second-degree burn, you’ll have an idea of how to approach it in a natural way. But, here’s the thing. You need to be prepared. If I hadn’t already made and had my burn cream on hand, I honestly don’t think this would have turned out as it did. I needed the benefits from the herbs in the cream, so I’m glad I was prepared and had that in our natural medicine cabinet.
Be sure to check out my post “How To Make An Herbal Burn Cream” and get all your supplies, linked to above, so that you too can be prepared if you or someone you know ever needs this!