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Review article

Burns in children and their treatment

Nedeljka Glavan orcid id ; Klinika za dječju kirurgiju, KBC Rijeka, Rijeka
Ana Bosak orcid id ; Klinika za dječju kirurgiju, KBC Rijeka, Rijeka
Nives Jonjić orcid id ; Zavod za patologiju, Medicinski fakultet Sveučilišta u Rijeci, Rijeka

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Skin burns are among the most common injuries in children of all ages, and one of the most common in younger children. Depending on the mode of occurrence, area of involvement and length of contact with the heat source, burns sometimes lead to major metabolic changes and increased neuroendogenous response of the body, which is referred to as the “burn disease”. Depending on the depth of tissue damage, burns are categorized into four grades: I, II, III and IV. Except for the depth, the area of involvement is also very important in the estimation of the burn disease. The size of burn involvement is measured by using various rules and schemes that are modified for children, taking into consideration not only the different parts of the body but also the age of the child. Altogether, burn wounds in children are clinically divided into three categories: mild, moderate and heavy. The grade I and II burns are mostly treated conservatively, whereas those of grade III need surgical treatment in order to remove the necrotic tissue. Surgical excision up to the normal tissue very often produces a larger area that should be replaced. As a consequence, the scars are larger and their treatment is still a subject of numerous research studies. It is very important to avoid surgical debridement in children, especially because the physiology and pathophysiology of the burns’ wound in children are different. Thus, burns in children have their own specificities and, considering that children are not “adults in a small”, require a different approach to treatment, which is discussed in this article.


burns, children, treatment

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