Burns – what to do
- Mums Tips
- Fitness & Health
- Published on Monday, 17 June 2013 09:00
- Last Updated on 10 June 2013
- Emma Hammett
- 0 Comments
Burns can happen suddenly and the pain and damage caused can be devastating. Knowing what to do if this should happen can make a massive difference in reducing the amount of pain and scarring experienced and may avoid them having any tissue damage at all.
For All BURNS – TREAT THEM IMMEDIATELY WITH COOL RUNNING WATER
DO NOT TAKE CLOTHES OFF IF THERE IS ANY RISK THAT THE SKIN HAS STUCK TO THEM OR IF THE SKIN HAS BLISTERED.
A burn is measured using the size of your hand – your palm is roughly equivalent to 1% of your body. Therefore a burn measuring just the size of a 50pence can be very serious for a baby or small child.
If the burn is caused by a chemical, run under cool running water for at least 20 minutes and be careful of the run off as it could still be corrosive and hurt you. Look at the advice on the packaging and see if there are any specific instructions.
Always ensure that the area is safe if someone has been electrocuted:
Burns to the; hands, face, feet, genitals, airways, or a burn that extends all the way around a limb, are particularly serious. Keep the burnt area under cool running water until the paramedic arrives.
All burns are serious, particularly when dealing with children. Often people have different depths of burn within a single injury. Whatever the depth of burn, they should all be treated under cool running water.
Treating a burn promptly under cool running water for at least 10 minutes makes a huge difference to the severity of a burn and therefore the amount of pain, scaring and length of time in hospital that the child may experience.
- Never touch the burn, pop blisters, or put on any creams whatsoever. Take burns very seriously and always seek medical advice.
WEAR STERILE GLOVES WHEN DEALING WITH BURNS
Remove any watches, jewellery etc and loose clothing.
If it is a child that is burnt phone for an ambulance and keep cooling their burn under cool running water.
Dressing a burn
A burn should never be dressed until it has been cooled for at least 15 minutes. Covering a burn reduces the risk of infection and reduces pain by covering exposed nerve endings.
If a child is burnt and the burn is bad enough that you need to dress it: phone an ambulance whilst continuing to cool it under running water and the paramedics will dress it for you.
If you want to dress the burn: cling film is a good temporary dressing. Ensure you have cooled the burn for at least 15 minutes before dressing it. Discard the first couple of turns of cling film and place an inner piece loosely over the burn. Plastic bags and non-fluffy dressings also make useful dressings. Proper burns dressings are great, but ideally the burn should be cooled for at least 10 minutes before dressing.
Always get a medical professional to assess a burn.
Never: Remove anything that has stuck to a burn
- Touch a burn
- Burst blisters
- Apply any creams, lotions or fats
- Apply tight dressings, tapes or use anything fluffy
Emma Hammett is the CEO and Founder of First Aid for Life. First Aid for Life is an Award Winning fully regulated First Aid Training business, our trainers are extremely experienced medical and emergency services professionals and our training is tailored to your needs.
We give people the skills and confidence to help in an emergency.
Emma Hammett is a First Aid expert and is regularly contacted as a spokesperson for SKY News and the BBC, she is the First Aid expert for Mothercare.
First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information. The best way to be prepared for action in an emergency is to attend a practical First Aid course.