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Published Date: 30-Nov-2008

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns can occur when strong acids or alkalies come into contact with the skin and/or the eyes.

Caring for chemical burns:

  • Rinse the exposed area with running water for 20 minutes; a hose is preferable but you may use a shower or faucet.

  • Carefully remove the contaminated clothing, making sure not to touch the unaffected skin with the contaminated clothing. Cut the clothing away, if necessary.

  • If the chemical has splashed into your child's eyes, begin rinsing his/her eyes immediately and continue doing so until medical help has arrived. If your child wears contact lenses, try to remove them.

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

  • If the chemical your child has been exposed to is a dry or powdered chemical, it may not be necessary to rinse the area with water. Instead of rinsing, gingerly wipe the powder from the skin and check the package enclosure for emergency advice.

  • Seek medical attention or dial 911 for emergency medical attention.


Online Medical Reviewer: Kolbus, Karin, RNH, DNP, COHN-S
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 05/18/2013
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