It never seems to fail that, when I cook bacon, it pops and I always get burned. That’s probably why I don’t cook bacon very often. It’s actually surprising how often we expose ourselves to the possibility of being burned: ladies doing their hair, being out and enjoying the nice weather, or even anytime a hot meal is involved. Until writing this, I didn’t really think about how easy it is for people to get burned.
Superficial burns are the most common and only damage the top layer of skin. The burn will be red and it will hurt. Partial thickness burns damage the first and second layers of skin and it will be very painful. There’s also a high chance of skin peeling, blistering, and swelling. Full thickness burns are very serious and damage not only the skin and tissue underneath, but maybe even the muscle and bone. These burns appear black and charred.
Follow the DRSABCDs with a burn victim before attempting to treat the burn. Run the burn under cool water for 20 minutes. This will help ease the pain and wash out any debris or lingering chemicals. Remove any clothing, watches, or jewellery around the burn. You can cover a burn in dressing or clean wrap to keep it clean while you keep an eye on the injury. And if necessary, take painkillers.
A list of don’ts:
- Don’t use ice on the burn
- Don’t poke at blisters or peeling skin
- Don’t remove clothing stuck to the skin
- Don’t put anything (creams, ointments, lotions, etc) on the burn (only for superficial burns)
- Don’t put small children or babies in a cold bath/shower for a full 20 minutes (hypothermia)
If the burn is deep, larger than a 20-cent piece, or involves the airway, face, hands, or genitals, call for an ambulance straight away, even if the patient doesn’t feel any pain. Them not feeling pain is a sign of nerve damage. Essentially, anything more than a superficial burn should be checked by medical professionals.