When accidents strike, it can be difficult to immediately know what to do. With panic in the air and a need to act fast, you’ve got to think on your feet, remain calm and decide what first next steps to take.
If you’ve never undergone first aid training, having the proper knowledge on how to treat burns can be exceptionally helpful, even life-saving. From our kitchen kettles to lighting an outdoor fire, burns can occur in the most common of places – and can vary in the degree of how serious they are.
In this article, we explore exactly how to treat a burn, including what to and what not to do in an emergency situation.
The very first thing you should do when someone burns themselves is to remain composed. Depending on the severity of the burn in question, this may be difficult, but no matter what you must try to contain your panic so as to keep the casualty as calm as possible so that you can rush to their aid with fewer complications.
Hold the Burn Under Cool Water
The next step to take is to run the burn over cool water – please note, this should not be freezing cold water, just cool to the touch. It is important to keep the burn beneath running water for a minimum of 10 minutes in order to have the best possible effect on recovery.
Have a First Aid Kit To Hand
Having a first aid kit either at home or within the workplace is essential to acting fast when accidents occur. You can get first aid kits especially for burns, but if not, you should be able to find a medical ointment that you can find within standard first aid kits. Once the burn has been cooled for over 10 minutes, generously apply a moisturiser – such as aloe vera or an antibiotic ointment.
Cover the Burn With A Dressing
Finally, cover the burn with a dressing of some sort. If you have access to a first aid kit, gauze or bandage wrapped loosely around the affected area will do the trick. If you don’t have access to a first aid kit, kitchen clingfilm can be used instead. The point of the dressing is to prevent the air from reaching the burn –the exposure to oxygen which causes the stinging from the burn to intensify, so cutting off the air supply is a fast way to relieve pain. This should also help to prevent further blistering – the fast you act the better.
Go to the Accident & Emergency Room
Of course, the situation at hand is completely dependent upon whether or not you need to go to A&E. If for example, someone has spilled a large amount of boiling water down themselves, an ambulance should be called straight away. If however the burn is minor and can be treated at home, you should follow the above steps to alleviate the pain as soon as it occurs.