This research introduces a novel dressing for burn wounds, containing silver nanoparticles in hydrogels for infected burn care. The 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid sodium salt hydrogels containing silver nanoparticles have been prepared via ultraviolet radiation. The formation of silver nanoparticles was monitored by surface plasmon bands and transmission electron microscopy. The concentration of silver nitrate loaded in the solutions slightly affected the physical properties and mechanical properties of the neat hydrogel. An indirect cytotoxicity study found that none of the hydrogels were toxic to tested cell lines. The measurement of cumulative release of silver indicated that 70%–82% of silver was released within 72 hr. The antibacterial activities of the hydrogels against common burn pathogens were studied and the results showed that 5 mM silver hydrogel had the greatest inhibitory activity. The results support its use as a potential burn wound dressing. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40215.