Chemical Burns

Chemical Burns: Caring for Your Child

Chemical burns can occur when strong
acids or alkalis come into contact with the skin and the eyes. Burns can also occur when a
child inhales or eats these substances.

Immediate care for chemical skin
exposure

  • If the chemical your child
    has been exposed to is a dry or powdered chemical, gently wipe the powder from the
    skin. Check the package enclosure for emergency advice.

  • For most exposures, remove
    clothing and any jewelry. Rinse the exposed area right away with running water for
    20 minutes. A hose is best. but you may use a shower or faucet. Tissue damage will
    continue as long as the chemical is in touch with the skin.

  • Note: Don’t use water to rinse dry lime or elemental metals such as
    sodium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, lithium, cesium, or titanium. Water can
    react with these substances to form dangerous byproducts.

  • Carefully remove the
    contaminated clothing. Be careful not to touch the unaffected skin with the
    contaminated clothing. Cut the clothing away, if needed.

  • If the chemical has splashed
    into your child’s eyes, start rinsing his or her eyes right away and call 911. Continue rinsing until medical help has
    arrived. If your child wears contact lenses, try to remove them.

  • Cover the exposed area
    loosely with a dry, clean cloth.

  • Seek medical attention or
    dial 911 for emergency
    medical attention. You can also call Poison Control at 800-222-1222.

  • Chemical burns that look mild may cause severe deep tissue
    injury. Always have your child examined by a healthcare provider no matter how
    mild the injury seems.