A few weeks ago, GadgetMan took the 3 older kidlets on a Ward camping trip. I wasn’t feeling up to it and kept the younger ones home with me to give the older ones a break and some time with daddy. The directions weren’t accurate on time so they didn’t get there until after dark, got rained on, the tent leaked while they slept, and they got thoroughly dirty the next day….a typical camping trip. CareBear made a friend out of a former “enemy” and got teased for hanging out with a boy. KnightJester and GadgetJunior got their teeth rattled on the dune buggy rides and climbed every rock and log in the area. I think they all had a blast. At least they all got some fresh air and freedom.
The only real mar on the whole trip happened at the end, after everything was packed up (they had to leave earlier then everyone else because of a previous commitment), GadgetJunior tripped and fell into the fire pit. Thankfully the fire had died down to coals, but he sunk one hand deep into those hot coals. GadgetMan washed his hand in cold water, doused it with the helichrysum oil I’d thrown into the first-aid kit at the last minute and had him hold a cold towel while he drove as quickly as possible to the nearest town. At a store he grabbed some camphophenique and poured some on the burns. He said that was all he kept thinking of…that he needed to get some of that on his hand to ease the pain until he could get him all the way home to me. GadgetJunior said that the pain nearly stopped with the camphophenique and some more cold water bottles to hold on to.
This picture was take a few days after so his hand was cleaned all the dirt and ash, but you can see still how nasty it was. The first 2 fingers had huge burn blisters over most of the fingers and the 3rd finger had a small burn on the inside of the finger. You can also see a burn on the side of the palm of his hand. My first reaction after seeing his hand was that we had to take him to the ER. I hope you don’t think bad of me when I then admit that we didn’t take him. I was not in any condition to go through another ER visit. Nor were we in a position to pay the ER bill (insurance is a whole other rant that I might visit later…suffice it to say that he and two of his siblings weren’t covered at that time due to insurance idiocy. That situation has been fixed by the way). I did call his pediatrician and was reassured that the most the ER would do would be to lance the wound and feed him antibiotics. There were things that we could do at home that would work just as well…if not better…and she would always be available if he needed to see her. We opted to leave the blisters pretty much as is…just drain them as needed. I then made up a burn cream in the hopes that it would promote quicker healing. I used a Bag Balm base and mixed in some camphophenique, some lavender and some helichrysum essential oils. Each night and morning I’d drain the blisters (yes, I was grossed out and cringed through the whole process), goop them with antibiotic cream and the burn cream, then cover with gauze. He then wore a clean sock over that to help keep everything from sliding around too much and remind him not to use that hand a lot. He even learned how to cover it all with a plastic bag to take a shower!
I wanted to share this experience and burn cream because I was happily surprised at how well it worked. He had very little pain and his hand healed completely within 3-4 weeks. In fact the most frustrating part for him was the sock.
These were taken about a week after the incident. The blister on the first finger had to be cut away after a play period that rubbed it loose…obviously he forgot to be careful even with the sock and gauze protection. You can see the difference in healing. It was quite interesting to see how the intact blister pretty much reabsorbed to his finger. There was only a couple places that needed dead skin removed. The other finger worried me a bit with how red it got after the skin was removed, but it cleared up quickly and it didn’t take long to see visible healing there as well.
These were taken a week after the last. You can see how well they’re healing.
And this is a week after that. Again more healing with some of the dead skin peeling away.
Another week and you can only see knew slightly pinker skin.
Today there’s not even any scars.
Of course I’m not an expert or anything like that, but I’m really pleased with how well his hand healed. My sister burned her hands on a wood stove when she was little and I remember her hands being bandaged for what seemed like forever. Maybe I’m more pleased with the fact that I actually took care of something I thought needed the ER…without going to the ER. And none of us are scarred for life.
(Disclaimer – I am not a medical professional, so please do not take my opinions here as medical treatment!)