As the long nights are drawing in earlier, and Halloween and Bonfire Night are rapidly approaching now is the time to make sure you could treat a burn. At this time of year the likely-hood of burns increases and without the appropriate burns first aid you could make it far worse .
Burns First Aid Treatment:
If you do sustain a burn here are a few important things to remember:
- Cool the burn for a minimum of 20 minutes. This should be done by placing the burnt area under a running tap. If you don’t have immediate access to running water don’t worry. You can still cool it up to 3 hours after the burn was sustained. Although remember, the burn is continuing to cause distress during this time. If you only have cold drinks to hand this is still better in the interim while you are waiting to get access to a tap. Ideally any cold drink with low sugar content is better than nothing at all!
- Remove loose clothing, but any that are stuck on leave alone. During this time you can remove any jewellery. If removing rings try to avoid twisting them around as you remove them. This can cause further discomfort and cause the finger to swell more.
- Cover the area. The idea is to prevent infection, and reduce pain. You can use cling film, a sandwich or carrier bag to do this. It is best to place the cling film in a large strip over the burn as opposed to wrapping around the whole limb.
*If the burnt area is very large, or the person is a young child or elderly casualty there is a risk of hypothermia. When cooling the burn try to wrap the rest of the body in a blanket to keep them warm.
Remember to not pop any blisters and to avoid using any fluffy dressings, creams or lotions on the burn. You should always seek urgent medical advice from A&E if:
- The burn was caused by chemical or electricity
- If the burn is to the face or neck
- If the area is bigger than the persons hand
- The casualty is a child
- Any burns that appear white, waxy, charred skin on look black
- If the area has blisters and appears over genitals, hands, feet,
If you are worried or unsure you can always consult your pharmacist, GP, 111 or visit the local walk in clinic.
Burns first aid is covered in all our first aid courses, so if you feel you need a first aid update feel free to get in touch.