First Aid Tips for Burns

Burns are amongst one of the most common injuries people suffer from and depending upon the degree of burns, providing first aid can be really helpful for the victim. You can get burns because of different reasons such as fire, heat, boiling water, acids, radiation, electricity or even sunlight. All these reasons can cause different degrees or types of burns which have to be treated differently and the first aid has to be provided accordingly as well. Let’s have a look at three different degrees of burns.

Degrees of Burns

  • First-degree – These are not very serious burns and only outer layer of the skin is burned that too not very deeply. Normally the skin or the burned area gets red; there is some swelling and minor pain. They are usually healed in 2 to 3 days.
  • Second-degree – These can be somewhat serious burns and happen when the outer layer of the skin is completely burned as well as the second layer of the skin is burned to some extent. Such burns can result in development of blisters, skin get pretty reddened and becomes splotchy which is accompanied by swelling and severe pain. They 2 to 3 weeks to heal.
  • Third-degree – These are major burns and are often very serious. Third-degree burns cause all the layers of skin to burn and also result in permanent damage to tissue. Moreover, fat, muscles and even the bones can get affected. The burned area becomes white or charred. Normally such burns don’t cause much pain because the nerves as well as the tissue in the skin are damaged. They take a long time to heal which can be from many weeks to months.

First Aid Tips for Burns video


Providing First Aid for Minor Burns

This includes first and second degree burns which cover area of 3 inches only. Following steps should be taken:

  • Cool the burned area – As understood it is important to cool the burned area, so keep the area under cool running water for some time (not cold water!) or till the pain lessens. If it isn’t possible then immerse the burned area in cool water, sometimes you can also use cold compresses. Cooling will not cause swelling, but don’t use ice.
  • Dress the burn – It is important to cover the burned area but don’t use cotton or any such material that might get stuck in the wound. Use sterile gauze bandage and don’t apply too much pressure while wrapping. Bandaging will lessen the pain and protect blistered skin.
  • Pain killers – You can also take over-the-counter pain killers to reduce the pain. However, it is not suggested for children or 2 years or below.

Providing First Aid for Minor Burns

These are third-degree burns and require immediate medical attention, therefore call the paramedics right away and in the meanwhile follow these steps:

  • It is better not to remove burned clothes of the victim.
  • You should not put large or severe burns in cold water.
  • Check for different circulation signs and if you don’t find them, then perform a CPR right away.
  • Use clean, cool and moist cloth to cover the burns.

These are some of the first aid tips for burns.

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