I'm working on a piece involving a father and his three children. The setting is present day in a suburban to metropolitan area, likely in the states (though an actual location hasn't been set, it's only the general feel I've nailed down thusfar). Although the story does involve supernatural elements and mythic forces, they have no notable effect on the biology of the principal characters. The story opens with a particularly traumatic incident where the youngest child (an eight year old girl) is badly burned, and her recovery is a large part of the story. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble locating information about appropriate burn treatment and recovery time for this nature of injury, and I was hoping you could give me some advice.
1. Approximately how long would she be expected to stay in the hospital? She suffered third- to fourth-degree burns on her legs and feet, which comprise the worst of her injuries. In children, this amounts to some 35% of the body surface. Given the extent of the injuries, how long would she likely spend in a hospital or burn ward? When would she likely be able to return home or go back to school?
2. What treatment would be expected for burns of this type and severity? Assuming that amputation can be avoided, how would burns of this magnitude be treated? Skin grafts are necessary for third degree burns, but may not be effective for fourth-degree burns. How would more severe burns be handled? What kind of care would be expected?
3. What would be expected in the long-term for recovery? Given the extent of the burns, what would be her recovery prospects after leaving the burn ward or hospital? Would she be expected to regain her ability to walk (again, assuming no amputation) with physical therapy? How would care be handled at home?
Anything you might know that could help with this would be greatly appreciated. I'd love to keep the story as realistic as possible, so thank you so much in advance for your advice!
(Google Searches: Leg Burn Recovery Time Children, Leg Burn Hospitalization Time Children, Fourth Degree Burn Treatment ; Resources: CHEMM Burn Treatment and Triage (http://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/burns.htm) , little-details Burn tag (http://little-details.livejournal.com/tag/~medicine%3A%20burns%20%26%20smoke%20inhalation) , Burn Survivor (http://www.burnsurvivor.com/how-serious-is-a-fourth-degree-burn.html) )