The type of burn treatment you use depends a lot on the type of burn or scald you are treating. Burns can happen in an instant, and you never know if or when it may occur. For this reason we recommend keeping some basic items in your first aid kit that can be used for a variety of burns.
It is also really important that first aid is applied as soon as possible to any burns or scalds as this will help to limit the amount of damage that occurs to the skin.
No matter what type of burn you are treating, there are a few things you need to do to limit the amount of damage to the skin that are common for all burns.
First aid treatment for burns
Burn Treatment: When to seek further medical assistance
Serious burns require further medical treatment so it’s really important to go to your nearest A&E centre if any of the following occurs:
Burns can be complicated and there can be some delayed symptoms from smoke inhalation. If your patient experiences:
Seek further medical treatment ASAP
Burn Treatment: Electrical burns
All electrical burns should be seen at your nearest A&E as soon as possible. This is because electrical burns often don’t look serious even though they can be incredibly serious. Electrical burns generally occur internally rather than on the skin like most other burns and therefore aren’t usually very visible when they do occur.
Personal safety around electrical burns should be paramount. If the injury occurred from a low-voltage source (up to 220 to 240 volts) such as a domestic electricity supply, remember to safely switch off the power supply. If this can’t be done remove the person from the electrical source using a material that doesn't conduct electricity, such as a wooden stick or a wooden chair.
Do not approach a person who's connected to a high-voltage source (1,000 volts or more). Instead call 111 immediately.
Burn treatment:Acid and chemical burns
Acid and chemical burns can be very damaging and require immediate medical attention at an A&E department. This is because they can continue to burn long after the acid or chemical has touched the skin. If possible, find out what chemical caused the burn and tell the healthcare professionals at A&E.
If you're helping someone else, put on appropriate protective clothing and then:
If you work in an area that uses battery acid, it may be appropriate to keep Calcium Gluconate in your first aid kit. Please make sure you check your Safety Data Sheet for Battery Acid (you can get this from the supplier) to find out if it is recommended.
Burn Treatment: Sunburn
Sunburn is probably they most common type of burn that most of us will experience at least once in our lifetime. Sunburn is usually preventable using by following the Slip Slop Slap recommendations but in case you do experience sunburn, we recommend the following:
If you suspect heat exhaustion, go to a cool place ASAP, drink plenty of water and loosen clothing. If you aren’t feeling better within 30 minutes seek medical treatment ASAP otherwise you could develop heatstroke which can become a medical emergency.