Burns and Scalds

Burns and Scalds

Burns and scalds are damage to the skin caused by heat. Both are treated in the same way. A burn is caused by dry heat – by an iron or fire, for example. A scald is caused by something wet, such as hot water or steam.

A head injury is any trauma to the scalp, skull, or brain. The injury may be only a minor bump on the skull or a serious brain injury. Head injury can be either closed or open(penetrating).

Treating Burns and Scalds
  • Immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes – don't use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances such as butter
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery that's near the burnt area of skin, including babies' nappies - but don't move anything that's stuck to the skin
  • Make sure the person keeps warm – by using a blanket, for example, but take care not to rub it against the burnt area.
  • Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it – a clean plastic bag could also be used for burns on your hand
  • Use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain
  • If the face or eyes are burnt, sit up as much as possible, rather than lying down - this helps to reduce swelling
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