First Aid: Treating Burns of All Kinds
First-aid Training Classes in the Bay Area
Burns of all kinds require attention, though the kind of attention required varies depending on the severity of the burn. What does not change is that it requires care and attention, no matter the intensity of the injury. Be sure to seek medical attention at the closest Bay Area hospital. And be prepared. Take a first-aid course at the Red Cross or the Heart Association so you know what do in case of an accident.
There are four levels of burns, each with its own method of treatment.
- Minor Burns: Treatment for minor burns is simple.
- The afflicted area should be held under still, cool water until the pain subsides or for fifteen minutes. Should there be no way to do so, apply cold compresses. This controls any swelling present. Resist the urge to apply ice.
- Use a sterilized gauge bandage to dress the burn. Fluffy cotton is not recommended, as lint can get into the burn. Wrap it loosely. This will keep air from irritating the afflicted area.
- The person suffering from the burn can elect to use pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or acetaminophen.
- Minor burns tend to heal even without attention. Those who are suffering from minor burns only need to watch out for infection, Avoid applying ice to the area as it will damage the area more. Egg whites, butter, and ointments may seem like a good idea, but they can cause infection if applied to burned skin.
- First Degree Burns: This is the lightest burn around. Symptoms include reddened skin, slight pain, and swelling. It is often considered a minor burn unless it involves a large part of the buttocks, groin, feet, face, hands, or a joint. Immediately request emergency attention in that case.
- Second Degree Burns: These are slightly more serious, and involve burns reaching the second layer of skin. Blisters can develop, the skin can look splotchy and extremely red, and it hurts a lot. Extensive swelling is also present. If it is three inches big or around the size of a thumb, it can be considered a minor burn. Otherwise or if it affects the buttocks, groin, feet, face, hands, or a major joint, it will require advanced medical aid.
- Third Degree Burns: These are the most serious kinds of burns. These occur when all the layers of skin are damaged. Permanent damage can occur, and it can reach muscle, fat, and bone. Immediate medical attention is always required.
- Treating Major Burns: Immediately call for help from a local Bay Area emergency number or 911. If you or a companion is burnt severely, do the following.
- If any clothing is burnt, leave it on. Do, however, make sure that they are not in contact with anything that is still smoldering.
- Avoid immersing severe burns in water. Hypothermia and shock can result due to the sudden drop in body temperature.
- Check for signs of life. See if the injured is still breathing. If not, immediately apply CPR until help arrives.
- Cover the burned area. A cool and sterile bandage will do.
- Elevate the burned areas whenever possible. Keep them above heart level, if you can.
Burns can be dangerous, even life-threatening, but knowing how to treat them as soon as possible can minimize any permanent damage. These few tips can easily change a burn injury from severe to treatable. If you want to learn more, you can sign up for a First-aid class by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross. Classes are offered throughout the Bay Area.