Estimating the Size of a Burn
British Columbia Specific Information
According to the World Health Organization, a burn is considered serious if it:
- covers more than 15% of the body surface of an adult;
- covers more than 10% of the body surface of a child;
- involves someone who is very young, elderly, in poor health, or who has a pre-existing medical condition such as diabetes;
- is a third degree burn;
- occurs on your face, hands, feet or genitals;
- encircles your leg or arm; or
- is associated with trauma.
Smoke inhalation is also a serious injury and requires medical attention right away. For more information, see the World Health Organization handout on the Management of Burns.