1st degree burn (also called superficial burn) First degree burns are the least serious because only the outer layer of skin is burned. They usually take about 3 to 6 days to heal. Common 1st degree burns are sunburns or burns from hot drinks. Symptoms include:
- Red Skin
- Hold the burn under cool running water for several minutes
- Cover the burn with a sterile, non-stick bandage to avoid infection, depending on the severity of the burn.
- Give the victim an aspirin or pain reliever
- Soothe the area with a burn cream like [BurnFree]
- Severe Pain and swelling
- Skin has a red and blotchy appearance
- Seek medical attention
- Soak the burn in cool water for 15 minutes. If the burn is on the back or chest, gently pour cool water over it using a bucket or container.
- If the burn is minor and small (but larger than 3 inches in diameter), place a cool, wet cloth or compress on the burn for at least 5 minutes.
- If the burn is severe (we’re talking tons of blisters, redness, and swelling) keep soaking the burn in cool water until you can get to a doctor.
- If the burn is extensive you can put cool, wet compresses on the burn, but do not put cloth directly on the wound. Cloth fibers will attach to it, making the pain worse—especially when the doctor has to rip it off to treat the wound. For tips on how to wrap the wound and apply a cool compress, check out [familyeducation.com.]
- Do not break blisters or try to remove clothing stuck to the burn. Get to a doctor who can more effectively (and gently… and safely) remove melted-on or charred clothing.
- Give the victim a pain killer or Ibuprofen (if they are an adult). Inform medical personnel which pain killer was given, how much, and at what time.
- University of Maryland Medical Center also suggests elevating the burn above the heart.
- Charred skin on the burn site
- Skin may appear dry and white
- Difficulty breathing (if smoke inhalation accompanies burn)
- If they are on fire, have them stop, drop, and roll—or help them extinguish the fire by smothering it with a blanket.
- Call 911.
- Check that the victim is breathing. If necessary, use CPR to re-start circulation and breathing.
- Continue to check vital signs (pulse, rate of breathing, blood pressure) until the ambulance arrives.
- New York Time’s Health section suggests that you should take these steps to prevent shock:
- Lay the person flat; elevate the feet about 12 inches.
- Cover the person with a coat or blanket.
- However, do NOT place the person in this shock position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the person uncomfortable.
- Replace out what chemical caused the burn.
- Call 9-1-1.
- Move the victim away from fumes of the chemical or ventilate the area.
- Flush the area with running water for twenty minutes, wrap with a sterile bandage until Medical assistance arrives.
- DO NOT remove any clothing before you begin flushing the area.
- If the chemical burn is in the eyes or mouth:
- Call 9-1-1 immediately.
- Flush the burn until the ambulance arrives or you can get medical attention.
- Make sure the victim is away from electrical source and that the current is not running through them still before you touch them.
- Turn off the source of the electrical current if you can do so safely and quickly.
- Check for breathing and administer CPR if needed.
- Treat for shock.
- Cover the affected area with a sterile bandage.
- Seek medical attention.
- Never remove any clothing that is stuck to the burnt skin, wrap in a sterile dressing or clean sheet.
- Do not soak large burn injuries in water—it may cause shock; use cool, wet compresses instead.
- Never use ice on a burn.
- Don’t put oils, butters, or ointments on severe second and third degree burns. Doing so may cause skin to fall off and increase chances of infection to the area.
- Never pop blisters.
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