What’s the best way to treat a burn?

by BabyYumYum
What’s the best way to treat a burn
Reading Time: 3 minutes

It happens to the best of us… taking supper out the oven, lighting the gas stove during loadshedding or spilling boiling water and scalding ourselves. Not to mention even worse, our kids touching something hot and burning themselves. Check out our tips and advice on how best to treat burns.

In 2021, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital alone, treated 880 children for burns, the most common (715 children) was caused by hot liquids (such as hot water, drinks and food from the kettle or bathwater and taps), followed by flames (55 cases), which are caused by fires. A further 57 children were treated for touching or coming into contact with very hot surfaces such as heaters, toasters and hotplates on stoves. Any such burn is traumatic and can be debilitating.

Going into winter now we need to be extra cautious of potential burns with heaters, fires and even loadshedding candles. Most burn injuries can be avoided and most of the burns happen in the home, specifically the kitchen,” says Yolande Baker, Executive Director of ChildSafe. Read more here on winter burns https://babyyumyum.com/burn-protection-tips/

“A first step to preventing burns is to make sure that the home environment is safe. Children are not always able to know when something is dangerous, so parents can start by checking every room in the house for possible burn risks to children,” says Baker. Plus, stay alert! Kids often get burned when an adult is around. So, put your phone down and pay attention. Read more here for prevention tips https://babyyumyum.com/burn-protection-tips/

Superficial or first-degree burns are when the outer layer or epidermis is damaged. These can range from sunburns to hot water burns. These are generally a result of quick exposure and just leaves skin red. While they are painful, there shouldn’t be any blistering.

Partial-thickness or second-degree burns are worse than a superficial burn as the first layer of the dermis is involved. They can be caused by longer exposure to hot/boiling water or hot oil, the sun etc. There will be blisters and swelling, and skin will be mottled and very painful

Full-thickness or third-degree burns is when the skin is burnt right through to the subcutaneous layers destroying fat layers, nerve endings and hair follicles. The burn site will appear white, yellow or charred and the skin looks dry and leathery. These burns generally need plastic surgery and will heal but with large scars.

How to treat a burn:

  • Remove the person from the hazardous area or source of danger.
  • The golden rule is to cool down the burn site for at least 15 to 20 minutes under running water. By running water over the area, you are stopping the burning process. It doesn’t matter how big or small the burn is, it HAS to be cooled down under running water.
  • If it is a big surface areas that is burnt, stand in the shower, or use a hose pipe or bottled water for a constant flow of water.
  • Burnshield® or Hydrogel® is the only safe treatment to apply to any wound after it has cooled down.
  • Use a crepe bandage to keep the Burnshield® or Hydrogel® dressing in place.
  • If using the spray-on Burnshield® or Hydrogel®, spray it onto the crepe bandage as you cover the dressing with every rotation, so that the gel is not absorbed by the bandage.
  • Re-assess the burn wound in an hour and keep the Burnshield® or Hydrogel® dressing on for 12 hours to ensure that the area stays moist.
  • If you do not have these medical products, then cover the burn with a clean cloth or clean plastic.
  • Any second degree or third burn requires medical attention ASAP! Take the patient to the nearest clinic or hospital to see a doctor.
  • In case of an emergency, please call 10111.

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