Burn Injuries

Burn Prevention

  • Keep hot liquids out of the reach of children.
  • Have children stay away from stoves, outdoor grills, campfires, and fireplaces. Also don’t wear loose clothing when grilling or near a fire.
  • Turn down your water heater to less than 130 degrees. Higher temperatures can cause burns in a matter of seconds.
  • While cooking be sure to turn all pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Protect your skin from the sun, use sun protection with a high SPF rating.
  • Never use gasoline or flammable liquids to start a fire with.
  • Don’t let cords to appliances dangle where children can reach them. Don’t leave an iron on that is unattended or other appliances that can burn when touched.
  • Before bathing children in heated water also check the water before placing children inside the bath tub.
  • Keep matches, gasoline, lighters, and other flammable materials locked up and out of the reach of children.

Types of Burns and Treatment

First-Degree Burns

Signs:

Skin gets red in color and is painful to touch. Skin may also show mild swelling.

Treatment

  • Apply cool water to the burn area until pain subsides. Cover the burn with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
  • Do not apply ointments, grease, or butter to a burn as these can cause infection.
  • First degree burns usually heal without further treatment but if a large amount of your body has been burnt or the victim is an infant or elderly you should seek emergency medical attention.

Second-Degree Burns

Signs:

Deep reddening of the skin and blisters. Loss of skin is also possible and these types of burns will also cause a lot of pain and discomfort.

Treatment

  • Immerse burnt area in fresh cool water or apply cool compresses. Dry with clean cloth and cover with sterile gauze. Also do not break blisters.
  • Do not apply ointments, grease, or butter to a burn as these can cause infection.
  • Elevate burned arms or legs.
  • Emergency medical treatment is required, so call 911 and have an ambulance make a response to treat the burn.

Third-Degree Burns

Signs:

Loss of skin layers and skin is dry and leathery. Skin may also appeared charred or have patches which are white, brown or black. This type of burn is often painless.

Treatment

  • Cover burn lightly with sterile gauze or clean cloth. Do not use material that can leave lint on the affected area.
  • Remember to not apply ointments, grease or butter to a burn as they can cause infection.
  • Elevate the burned area higher than the victim’s head whenever it is practical to do so. Keep victim warm and comfortable and watch for signs of shock and watch closely for possible breathing problems.
  • Immediate medical treatment is required so call 911 ASAP.