They happen every day; a steaming coffee cup tipped over, a too-hot faucet, pots carelessly left on a hot stove within the reach of a child. No matter how careful we are, accidents happen. Burns are one of the most common causes of injuries around the home, especially for children. The four most common causes of burns are:
1- scalds (the most common culprit) – steam,too hot faucet water, tipped over coffee cup, hot food, etc.
2- contact with hot objects or flame – fireplace, curling iron, stove, etc
3- chemical burns from swallowed or spilled products – drain opener, bleach, swallowed watch batteries
4- electrical burns – from biting on electrical cords, sticking objects or fingers in electrical outlets
3 Categories Of Burns
There are three categories of burns everyone should know at sight:
1- 1stDegree Burn – (the mildest type) signs are redness, pain, minor swelling. Healing time usually 3-6 days with some peeling of dead skin.
2- 2ndDegree Burn – more serious; produces blisters, severe pain, redness ( Do NOT break blisters!);
healing time varies but can take over 3 weeks depending on severity. Seek medical assistance.
3- 3rdDegree Burn – (most severe burn) Seek Medical Assistance Immediately! skin surface appears dry and waxy-white, leathery, brown or charred; there may be little or no pain or feel numb due to nerve damage. Healing time will vary due to the severity of the burn. Deep second and third degree burns usually need skin-grafts.
Knowing what to do if a burn occurs can make the difference in possible infections, permanent scarring, or even a life. Memorize or print the following so you’ll know what to do in case of an emergency.
– Remove clothing from burn area.
– Run cool (not cold!) water over the burn for 3-5 minutes or apply clean, cool compresses. NO ICE!
– Apply aloe gel or antibiotic cream.
– Give ibuprofen or acetaminophen for pain.
2nd and 3rd Degree Burns
– Seek Medical Care Immediately!
– Lay down, keeping the burned area elevated.
– Follow instructions for 1st degree burns.
– Remove all clothing and jewelry from around burn area (in case of swelling) EXCEPT for clothing that sticks to burn area. Wait for medical personnel to remove it!
– DO NOT BREAK ANY BLISTERS!
-Apply cool water for 3-5 minutes. Cover with clean white cloth of sheet until medical assistance arrives.
*For Electrical or Chemical Burns (NOTE; Poison Control Center(800) 222-1222 )
Seek Medical Assistance!
– Make sure victim is not in contact with electrical source before touching them. You could get
– In case of chemical burns, apply cool running water for 5 minute minimum. Do NOT remove clothing around or
on chemical burn before or while running water on burn. Leave it on.
– Chemical burns to the eyes or mouth need immediate medical attention after thoroughly washing with water.
-If you think the person swallowed a chemical substance or object (such as a watch battery) call poison control first and then 911.