First aid for burns

2015-06-24 06:00

WITH the onset of cold days and nights of winter the chances of someone being burnt in an open fire or lamp and candle increases – this is now being compounded by the need for light and warmth during load shedding.

Health 24 has issued the following on what to do if burnt.

• Submerge the burnt area in cool, running water until the pain subsides, between 10 and 30 minutes.

• Cool water reduces the heat and prevents further tissue damage.

• Alternatively, cover it with a wet, clean cloth, or a burn shield, particularly if the burn is on the face.

• Don’t use ice as it can cause frostbite. Never use butter, grease or oil on a burn.

• Once the pain subsides, wash the area gently with soap and water and pat dry.

• If the burn rubs against clothing, cover it with an antiseptic cream and a dry gauze bandage changed twice a day.

• Remove clothing and jewellery from the burnt area as swelling could make it difficult to remove it later.

• Don’t remove clothing that sticks to the skin.

• If a secondary burn is on the arm or leg, keep the limb elevated above the heart.

• Take paracetamol for pain.

• Don’t burst blisters. They help the skin to heal. If blisters break, clean them with water, apply antiseptic ointment and cover with a gauze bandage. Change the bandage twice a day.

• Consult a hospital, clinic or hospital as soon as possible


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