Burns can happen quickly. Too much time in the sun without proper sunscreen application. A moment of inattention while curling your hair. Your child accidentally tipping over your hot tea on himself when he rushes to hug you. But you can be prepared to handle any burn emergency by implementing some of the prevention tips listed below and knowing just what to do in the event of a burn.
Types of Burns
You can be burned in a variety of ways. There are thermal burns caused by heat - either through scalding from hot liquids or from contact with flames or hot objects. There are electrical burns caused by direct contact with electricity - such as touching a live wire or sticking something in an outlet. And there are chemical burns resulting from ingesting or touching a chemical substance - such as swallowing things like drain cleaner or spilling chemicals such as bleach on the skin.
Burns generally fall into three categories.
First-degree burns are the mildest form of burn and affect the top layer of the skin. The symptoms include swelling, redness and pain. The skin may be tender to the touch.
Second-degree burns also affect the skin layers beneath the top layer. They produce blisters which can break open, leaving the area looking wet. Other symptoms include severe pain and redness.
Third-degree burns affect all the layers of the skin and the underlying tissue. This most serious type of burn leaves the top layer of skin looking waxy white or leathery brown or charred. Because there may be some nerve damage, the area may feel numb.
This article will focus on first-degree thermal burns.
Call 9-1-1 Immediately if:
How to treat a first-degree burn:
According to WebMd, the first thing to do in any burn situation is to stop the burning immediately. This means stopping the person’s contact with the burning material, be it a hot liquid, steam, etc. In the case of fire, help the person “stop, drop, and roll” to put out the flames. Then remove all smoldering material from the person, including clothing. If the clothing sticks to the skin in some part, cut around it. Also, immediately remove any constrictive clothing or jewelry because the burn can swell quickly.
Then follow these steps:
The burn should heal within a week.
To help the skin heal and prevent scarring, you can use antibiotic ointments or home remedies such as aloe vera and honey.
See a doctor if:
How to help prevent thermal burns
Here are some simple steps to take to help prevent thermal burns.
Minor burns can happen quickly and unexpectedly. You can be prepared to handle them by using basic first aid techniques and the supplies found in a good emergency kit. Having one handy in your home and in your car will allow you to handle a burn emergency with confidence.