Burn First Aid First Step
Burn first aid starts with determining a minor burn or a major burn. The first step is to determine the extent of damage to body tissues.
Burn First Aid Classifications
The three burn classifications will help you determine urgency and care.
First-Degree Burns involves only the outer layer of skin. The skin is burned, but not all the way through.
– The skin is usually red
– Often there is swelling
– Pain can be present
Second-Degree Burns is when the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin (dermis) is also burned.
– Blisters develop
– Intense redden, splotchy skin
– Severe pain and swelling
Third-Degree Burns involves all layers of the skin and cause permanent tissue damage.
– Fat, muscle and even bone my be affected
– Areas may be charred black or appear dry and white
– Difficulty inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other toxic effects may occur if smoke inhalation accompanies the burn
Burn First Aid Minor Burn Awareness
Some First-Degree burns and Second-Degree burns can be carefully treated as minor burns when the burned areas are no larger than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter.
However any minor burn, hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, major joint, too much pain, increasing soreness, etc., may require urgent burn first aid by appropriate medical staff.
Burn First Aid Minor Burns Treatment Action: Minor burns usually heal without further treatment. Sometimes minor burns heal with pigment changes, (healed area may be a different color) from the surrounding skin. Be aware for infection, such as on going pain, redness, fever, swelling or seeping. If infection develops, seek medical help. Use sunscreen on the area for at least a year.
Cool the burn – Hold the burned area under cool (no ice or icy cold) running water for 10 or 15 minutes or until the pain subsides. Or immerse the burn in cool water with cool compresses. Cooling the burn reduces swelling by conducting heat away from the skin.
Cover the burn – Use sterile gauze bandage. Avoid fluffy cotton, or other material that may get lint in the wound. Wrap the gauze loosely and putting pressure on burned skin. Bandaging keeps the burned area clean, reduces pain and protects skin.
Take a pain reliever – Aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Aleve) or acetaminophen (Tylenol, others). Use caution when giving aspirin to children or teenagers. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Burn First Aid Don’ts
Don’t use ice – Putting ice directly on a burn can cause a person’s body to become too cold and ice causes further damage to the wound.
Don’t apply egg whites, butter or ointments to the burn – This could cause infection.
Don’t break blisters – Broken blisters are more vulnerable to infection
For All Major Burns Or Third Degree Burns!
Call 911 Or Emergency Medical Help!
Burn First Aid Tips For Major Burns Until Emergency Help Arrives
- Don’t remove burned clothing. Make sure the victim is not in contact with smoldering materials, exposed to smoke or heat.
- Don’t immerse large severe burns in icy-cold water. Doing so could cause a drop in body temperature (hypothermia) and deterioration of blood pressure and circulation (shock).
- Check for signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement). If there is no breathing or other sign of circulation, start CPR.
- Elevate the burned body part or parts. Raise above heart level, when possible.
- Cover the area of the burn. Use a cool, moist, sterile bandage; clean, moist cloth; or moist cloth towels.
Burn First Aid Infection Protection
Get a tetanus shot – Burns are susceptible to tetanus.
Doctors recommend you get a tetanus shot every 10 years.
If your last tetanus shot was more than five years ago, it is
a best practice to call your doctor.