First Aid: Burns and Scalds
Prompt treatment of burns and scalds may help to limit damage and alleviate pain. Treatment is outlined below:
- Start cooling the burn immediately under running water for at least 10 minutes.
- Dial 999 for an ambulance.
- Make the casualty as comfortable as possible, lie them down.
- Continue to pour copious amounts of cold water over the burn for at least 10 minutes or until the pain is relieved.
- You should remove all jewellery or clothing from the affected area, unless it is sticking to the skin. However, ensure that you are wearing disposable gloves before doing this.
- Put a clean, non-fluffy material over the burn to protect from infection. Cloth, a clean plastic bag or cling film all make good dressings.
- Treat for shock
Minor BurnsFor minor burns, run cold water over the affected area for a minimum of 10 minutes or until the pain eases. Remove any jewellery etc. and cover the burn as detailed above.
If a minor burn is larger than a postage stamp, it requires medical attention. All deep burns of any size require urgent hospital treatment.
Clothing on fire
- Stop the casualty panicking or running - any movement or breeze will fan the flames.
- Drop the casualty to the ground.
- If you can, wrap a coat, blanket or curtain (not the nylon or cellular type), rug or other heavy-duty fabric tightly around the casualty. The best fabric is wool.
- Roll the casualty along the ground until the flames have been smothered.
- Use creams, lotions or ointments
- Use adhesive dressings
- Break blisters
Our thanks to St John Ambulance for providing this information.