The leading etiologies of pediatric burns are scald, thermal, and electrical injuries. The initial management of burns involves assessment of burn depth and total body surface area (TBSA) affected, a history, and physical examination. Calculation of percent of TBSA affected is an important determinant of the necessity for hospitalization versus outpatient management. Only second- and thirddegree burns are included in the calculation. The criteria for outpatient management vary based on the center experience and resources. One such set of criteria in an experienced burn center includes burn affecting less than 15% TBSA, therefore not requiring fluid resuscitation; the ability to take in oral fluids, excluding serious perioral burns; no airway involvement or aspiration of hot liquid; no abuse; and dependable family able to transport the patient for clinic appointments. Once the child is ready to reenter school, the physician must discuss with the family and school staff any needs and expectations for the child, including wound care. Social reintegration can be difficult. Educating the teachers and staff of the child's appearance may help prepare the students.
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