13 Important First Aid Treatments for Burns and Scalds

Scalds are the injuries caused by moist heat like boiling water, steam, hot oil and coal tar, hot wax etc.

Both burns and scalds cause similar damage to the body tissues hence the first aid treatment is similar. The burns may be superficial or deep. The degree of burns varies from minor redness of the affected area (first degree), blisters on the skin of affected area (second degree) upto damage to deeper layers of skin and body tissues (third degree). In third degree burns the base of the burnt tissue looks leathery or dead white. They are most painful type of burns.

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The danger from burns depends on the area of burns rather than the degree of burns. Superficial bums over a large area of the body are more dangerous than complete damage or 9harring of deeper layers of skin and body tissues of a particular part. The most serious consequences of burns is shock. Infection due to contamination is another serious condition that may follow the bums.

First Aid Treatment:

(i) Put off the fire by throwing water, covering the flames with blanket or coat.

(ii) Without wasting time put plenty of cold water or any other non-inflammable liquid over the burnt part. If possible immerse the affected part in cold water for 15-20 minutes or until the pain disappears (In case of extensive burns do not immerse the part for a long time, as it may intensify the shock).

If that is not possible, soak clean cloth in cold water and put it over burnt area. It needs to be changed frequently. This treatment with cold water will remove residual heat from tissues and prevent further damage.

(iii) Do not try to remove the clothing’s from the burnt area rather cut them around.

(iv) Keep the victum calm and in lie down position to avoid shock.

(v) Give him reassurance.

(vi) Do not disturb the blisters in anyway.

(vii) Do not use absorbent cotton, oily substances, antiseptics, flour, butter, baking soda or ink on the burn.

(viii) Remove immediately from the body anything of constricting nature like rings, bangles, belt, boots etc. They may be difficult to remove afterwards as the limbs begin to swell and gangrene may develop.

(ix) Do not touch the burnt area more than absolutely necessary.

(x) Give any liquid to the victim to drink if he is conscious.

(xi) In case of chemical burns, wash the area with water until all chemical has been washed away.

(xii) If eyes are affected with burns, wash them thoroughly and afterwards cover with sterile dressings.

(xiii) If the burning is extensive, wrap the victim in a clean cloth and shift the patient immediately to a nearby hospital.


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