What are burns?

Burns are injuries to the body tissues as a result of heat, electricity, radiation or chemicals. Thermal or heat-induced fire, steam and hot liquid burns or chemical burns generally occur when heat or chemicals come in contact with the body, affecting the skin. Generally, the skin sustains the worst of the injury, though in deeper burns, fat, muscle and bone may also be affected. Typically a burn results in swelling and acute pain and, depending on the severity of the injury, ulcerations, blisters or complete removal of the skin. A complication of damaged skin is infection because the body's natural barrier has been damaged. 

You can find out more about burns and how to prevent them in our fact sheets

How do we help children who have had a burn?

The Sydney Children's Hospitals Network provides high-quality care for children and adolescents with burns. The NSW Statewide Burn Injury Service comprises three burn units located at Concord Repatriation General Hospital (part of Sydney South Western Area Health Service), Royal North Shore Hospital (part of North Sydney/Central Coast Area Health Service) and The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

The Children's Hospital at Westmead Burns Unit provides the paediatric component of the statewide Severe Burns Injury Service. The unit is the designated referral centre for paediatric burns in NSW and has approximately six inpatient beds and two paediatric intensive care beds. Complex burns, including patients who require grafting, are reviewed and may be admitted to the burns unit for ongoing management.

The Sydney Children’s Hospital provides ongoing management of minor burns and minor wound care.