Burn from the Sun Tetanus
A second degree burn from a sunburn may require treatment to prevent tetanus. Most children born in the US have received three tetanus shots (boosters) in the past, because these boosters are part of the usual vaccination schedule. Additional tetanus boosters are given every 10 years.
Those who require treatment to prevent tetanus include:
- Those who have not had 3 tetanus boosters in the past need a tetanus booster after a burn that causes blisters.
- Those who have not received a tetanus booster in the past 10 years need a tetanus booster after a burn that causes blisters.
- Tetanus booster:
- A tetanus booster stimulates the immune system to make antibodies against the tetanus toxin.
- A tetanus booster may be given to those who have received 3 tetanus boosters in the past.
- The tetanus booster may be given within 72 hours after the wound occurs.
- Tetanus Immune Globulin (TIG):
Tetanus Vaccine and TIG Recommendations
|History||Clean, Minor Wound||Other Wounds|
|< 3 boosters||give Td||give Td + TIG|
|3 boosters||possible Td||possible Td|
Clean and minor wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 10 years since the last tetanus vaccine. Other wounds may need a booster if it has been more than 5 years since last tetanus vaccine.
Continue to Burn from the Sun Home Care
- Han A, Maibach HI. Management of acute sunburn. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2004;5(1):39-47. 
- O'Riordan DL, Geller AC, Brooks DR, Zhang Z, Miller DR. Sunburn reduction through parental role modeling and sunscreen vigilance. J Pediatr. 2003 Jan;142(1):67-72. 
- Warthan MM, Sewell DS, Marlow RA, Warthan ML, Wagner RF Jr. The economic impact of acute sunburn. Arch Dermatol. 2003 Aug;139(8):1003-6.