Burn care for children.

Pediatric Burn Care

Burns are among the most common injuries experienced by children. Young children are mostly likely to experience scald burns, caused by hot liquids or steam, while older kids more frequently experience contact burns, caused by touching hot metals or flames.

UNC Children’s offers comprehensive, family-centered care for children with burn injuries through the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Medical Center, one of only two verified burn centers in North Carolina. Our burn experts treated more than 1,400 patients in 2014 alone, so you’re sure to find top-quality care for your child from the time of injury through rehabilitation.

N.C. Children’s Hospital is also designated as the Triangle’s only Level I pediatric trauma center, which means you’ll find the highest level of care for every injury 24/7.

Immediate Help for Severe Burns

No matter the type or size of burn, the experts at UNC are available to help. For minor burns, call us to learn about home treatment or ask questions about when to seek a doctor’s care. Seek immediate medical attention or call 9-1-1 if your child experiences:

  • Second- or third-degree thermal (heat), chemical or electrical burn
    • Second-degree burn – Skin is red, blistered or open, swollen and very painful
    • Third-degree burn – Skin can be red, white or black; thick and leathery; and often has no feeling due to damaged nerve endings
  • Burn injury that covers more than 5 percent of the body (to estimate the size of a burn: the palm of your child’s hand is about 1 percent of his or her body)
  • Burn injury that affects your child’s airway or face
  • Burn injury with a pre-existing medical condition that could complicate treatment and prolong recovery
  • Dermatological conditions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN)
  • Smoke inhalation injuries
  • Any third-degree burn
  • Electrical burns, including lightning injury
  • Any burns with related trauma, like fractures or other injury, where the burn injury poses the greatest risk
  • Burn injury in patients who will require special social, emotional, or long-term rehabilitative intervention

The burn center provides care to any North Carolinian who has experienced a burn injury, regardless of ability to pay.


Personalized, Multidisciplinary Burn Care

If your child’s injury requires inpatient care, s/he will be hospitalized in the 36-bed center dedicated to both adult and pediatric burn patients in N.C. Memorial Hospital or on the seventh floor of N.C. Children’s Hospital. Wherever they are, our burn team will work with you to create the best treatment plan for your child. We’ll treat his or her physical injury, offer emotional support, and help your child return to an active, healthy life.

Your child’s team will be made up specialists with expertise in burn care and may include:

  • Physicians, including a burn surgeon and doctors who specialize in areas like wound healing and reconstructive surgery
  • Physician assistants (PAs) – Assist doctors in developing a treatment plan, prescribing medications and providing care
  • Nurses – Coordinate daily care and tend to injuries
  • Respiratory therapists – Help your child breathe more easily
  • Occupational therapists – Help your child improve his or her ability to perform daily activities; may provide compression therapy or hand splints
  • Physical therapists – Assist your child in regaining strength, balance and range of motion
  • Recreational therapists – Offer recreational opportunities to help your child recover physically and emotionally
  • Psychiatrists and psychologists – Help your child cope with emotions surrounding a burn injury
  • Chaplains – Provide emotional and spiritual support to your family
  • Dietitians – Learn your child’s food preferences, and then develop a personalized healthy eating plan to support healing
  • Social worker – Connects you with support services, tools and resources
  • Rehabilitation counselor – Coordinates rehabilitation-related services and offers support

Your UNC burn team will continue to provide physical, emotional and therapeutic care even after your child has returned home from the hospital.


Education Services & School Reentry

If your child’s burn injury requires an extended absence from school, teachers from the state-accredited UNC Hospital School will help him or her to continue studies while recovering. And when your child is ready to return to school, you’ll find the resources and support you need to make the transition as easy and positive as possible.

Emotional Support For Burn Survivors

The N.C. Jaycee Burn Center offers a variety of support programs for children who have experienced burn injuries and their families, including Camp Celebrate, the country’s oldest burn camp for children. Meet other burn survivors and their families, share hope and inspiration, and learn skills and strategies to meet the challenges your family faces during recovery and beyond.

Family Support Group

The Burn Center’s two chaplains facilitate a weekly family support group in the conference room of the burn center.

Aftercare Events

After your child has returned home, find ongoing support through N.C. Jaycee Burn Center’s events for kids who experienced a burn injury, including:

  • Camp Celebrate – A weekend camp for children ages 7–15 who have survived burn injuries; activities include swimming, canoeing, arts and crafts, fishing, and opportunities to meet other kids who share the experience of having been burned. Burn survivors ages 16–18 can attend as counselors-in-training.
  • Family Camp – A weekend event for families of burn survivors ages 7–18 that includes fun activities and focuses on offering emotional support and coping strategies to parents and siblings as a way to help the entire family unit through recovery
  • Teen Adventure Weekend – A retreat for teenage burn survivors (ages 13–17) offering opportunities to connect with peers, learn coping skills, develop leadership skills and have fun
  • Burn survivor reunion – Gather with other burn survivors and their families for support, inspiration and education
  • Regional burn support fun days

To learn more about the Burn Center’s pediatric aftercare programs, call 984-974-1624.

Jaycee Burn Center

About the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center

The N.C. Jaycee Burn Center has been helping North Carolinians recover from burn injuries since the early 1980s. Our 36-bed center treats both children and adults in a dedicated area in N.C. Memorial Hospital. The center’s newly renovated Duke Energy Family Room offers a space for families to rest and recharge while supporting loved ones.

In addition, outpatient care is available, Monday through Friday, at N.C. Memorial Hospital. To make an appointment at the outpatient clinic, call 984-974-1600. We recommend you bring a familiar toy and a snack for your child.

Burn Prevention Programs

We provide free fire safety and burn prevention programs for all ages—from preschool-age children to older adults. Learn more about burn prevention programs initiated and endorsed by the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center.

Find Family-Centered Care at UNC

At UNC Children’s, you’ll find friendly, compassionate staff who are experts at working with children and families. We’ll do our best to ease your anxiety, help you understand your child’s medical condition so you can make informed choices about their care, and offer whatever additional support you need. You can help make your experience go as smoothly as possible by exploring our patients and visitors section to learn about:


UNC Cystic Fibrosis Family Newsletter

We are always looking for ways to keep you better informed. Take a look at the CF Family Newsletter, published quarterly. You can help make the newsletter even better but sharing any ideas for the next newsletter or submitting an article to include. If you have a contribution, please contact Kelly Moormann.

Spring 2022

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Contact Us

Call the N.C. Jaycee Burn Center at 984-974-1600 to make an appointment or learn more about pediatric burn care and prevention.

Chase’s Story

After 1-year-old Chase lost some of his fingertips to severe burns in 2010, his UNC care team used "pixie dust" to help them regrow.

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