Burn Awareness Week | BURN CARE
Here are some dos and don'ts to help limit the damage after a burn or scald.
- Immediately cool the burn with water. Pour cool water on burns or soak them for at least three to five minutes (30-40 minutes for chemical injury). Do not use ice as it may cause more damage, stick to the burn and remove the skin.
- Cover the burn. Apply a soft, clean, dry dressing, bandage or sheet to the burned area. Do not break blisters — this could lead to infection.
- Seek medical help as necessary. For adults, if the burn is larger than the size of a quarter, see a doctor. Infants, young children and the elderly are endangered by even small burns. The hands, feet, face (especially eyes) and genitalia are critical areas. Electricity, chemicals and smoke or toxic fumes complicate a burn injury. Certain existing conditions, such as diabetes, and mental and physical impairment, can also cause complications.
- In the event of a chemical burn, gently brush any dry chemicals off the skin with a dry cloth. Remove clothing and contact lenses, if necessary, before flushing the affected area with water for at least 20 minutes or until pain stops. Use caution not to flush chemicals on to other parts of the body. Read the container label or consult with the Poison Control Center before administering first aid.
- Never use ointment or butter. Use only cool water on burns. Ointment, butter, cream and salve cause the burn to retain heat, may cause infection, and may hinder medical evaluation.
- In the event of an electrical burn, DO NOT touch the injured person until the source of power has been disconnected. Primary concerns are airway, breathing, circulation, and cervical spine immobilization. Electricity can cause the heart and breathing to stop. Assess for injuries and begin first aid. Internal injuries may not be evident as electricity can cause severe damage inside the body when it enters and exits. Call 9-1-1.
February 11, 2010