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Im not sure I’m in the right place but thought I would reach out.
My 6 year old son, fell onto a wood burning stove 4 weeks this Saturday he has burns to his hands, arms and chest he has already under gone skin grafts for his wrist and elbow. He has been remarkably strong. He struggles with dressing changes, i suppose that leads to my first question is there any hints or tips that would help him through these? Also since his accident, he has now became a great sleeper, he also gets very tired during the day after short activities and at times can become very pale/grey in colour, cold but sweaty is this normal?.
Sorry for all the questions and thank you in advance.
Thanks for posting your message to our forum. I’m part of the Adult Burns Support UK admin team. I’m not a burn survivor myself and I’m not medical but I can try to point you in the right direction.
Sorry to hear about your son’s recent burn injury. He sounds like a trooper! If you haven’t done so already, you could contact the Children’s Burns Trust. They are a charity that support children with burn injuries and their families; they may be better placed to give you some tips and hints for handling the dressing changes. They also have a private facebook group where parents and carers of children with burns can communicate and support each other. You can find information about this in the ‘support’ section of Children’s Burns Trust website under ‘direct family support’.
As your son’s injury is recent, it’s a good idea to speak with his burns team about any concerns you may have in relation to his burns as they have experience and can best advise you.
Hopefully some adult burn survivors will see your post here and respond, if not, we do host an online adult burn support live chat every Wednesday evening, 7.30-9.00pm where anyone affected by burns can join to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. The chat is moderated and our moderators are burn survivors themselves. You can click the blue ‘live chat’ button at the top of the screen to find out more about our live chat. As you’ve already registered, you would just need to login any Wednesday evening, go to the live chat page and then click to join between 7.30pm and 9pm.
Hope this information is helpful and we wish your son all the very best in his recovery.
I’m so sorry to hear about your son :(. I wish I could give him a big, incredibly gentle hug.
I had deep 2nd degree burns to 11% of my body about two years ago. I was absolutely exhausted and regularly slept for 16 hours a day while it was healing. My doctors told me it was entirely normal; that healing from burns requires so much energy that the body is directing its energy to the injuries at the expense of staying awake. They did some blood work to make sure nothing unexpected was going on, but they weren’t concerned about it until I was still sleeping so much two months after the injury. However, even then, it was considered “normal” given the additional stress my body was under from unrelated medical issues.
I’m not a doctor, but my best advice as a survivor is to let the kiddo sleep as much as wants <3 . Of course let his doctors know, but I wouldn’t be exceptionally worried about it. As for being pale, that rings true with my experience as well. Being cold but sweaty is definitely something to mention to his docs, but I wonder if it may be related to an increase in his metabolic rate while healing. For the body to heal major injuries such as burns, it requires more energy than usual. Even sleeping he could be burning waaaaay more calories than he usually would be if he were awake and running around. If that’s what’s going on, an extra bowl of ice cream every day might be exactly what he needs 🙂
I hope this helps! Please keep us posted on this thread!
So sorry to hear of your son’s accident and I hope you are both coping okay. It is very normal to sleep a lot when your body is recovering from a burn as it takes a lot of energy to heal the skin. It’s also good for him to eat a lot of protein to help with the healing of the skin. Rest is such a great thing in terms of healing power too. In terms of dressing changes, I imagine that is quite a traumatic time for him, both in terms of pain and also seeing his skin damaged. I remember hating my dressing changes. Distraction is a great tool and perhaps using an ipad or other technology to take his mind off it (watching tv etc or playing his favourite game)… there is research into using interactive VR headsets to reduce the pain in dressing changes at the moment and a few hospitals do have and use them, but not many.
Also, have you been given pain relief.. its important if you have to give it to your son at least 20 mins advance of the dressing change and maybe promise him to do something nice afterwards?
It will get easier as the pain receeds so keep going and just know that you are doing the right thing by keeping his wounds, clean and covered.
Keep us in touch with how you are getting on,
Hi again, and thank you all for the best wishes.
We have finally overcome the dressing changes, still a great deal of anxiety but he manages it better and we only have one left to be changed or removed for definite this tuesday. Super proud of him ❤️
I mentioned to his OT and nurse about the sleeping and as you guys said its to be expected, i also mentioned about the sweats and the change in colour so we are monitoring that. But have seen an improvement on last week.
So OT has briefly mentioned that she intends him to wear a sleeve ( I assume for over skin graft) and gloves for the hands but she also mentioned being fitted for silicone at some stage, I will see her again on a Friday but wanted to know is the silicone like another dressing or is it a support? We live 2 hours away from the hospital we attend so want to be prepared that if the silicone is a dressing does it be changed regularly etc.
Thank you all for your replies x
Wow, sounds like your son is a little trouper and so glad to hear the dressing changes have been getting easier. Silicon can be given in gel form that is rubbed in to the wound and can also be given in gel patches to wear directly on the skin under the pressure garment/sleeve. These help to keep the wound moist and itch less. They are easy to apply (just open the packet and place on the burn) so hopefully won’t be too traumatic for you and your son.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.