Emergency First Aid for Minor Burns

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minor burns
Cooling a minor burn with cold water

Minor burns are some of the most common emergencies that occur in many homes. Fortunately, they are easy to treat unlike other serious injuries that cause major burns. But, regardless of whether the burns are minor or major, they need to be handled immediately. If left without being treated for long they can be fatal or cause permanent damage to body tissues. Here are some of the best ways handling such injuries.

How to Treat Minor Burns Immediately They Occur

Burns are termed as minor if they occur in an area not exceeding three inches or seven centimeters in diameter.

  • The first thing you need to do is to cool the affected area by running cool water on the area for ten to fifteen minutes or until the pain reduces. You can also immerse that area into cool water or use cold compresses to cool it.  The cooling process is essential as it helps reduce the swelling by ensuring that there is no heat on the skin. However, never put ice on the burn to avoid making the body too cold and lead to more damage to the wound.
  • Cover the burn using a sterilized gauze bandage. You should not try to put fluffy materials or any other material that may stick on the wound. Note that minor burns are very painful and using a materials that sticks on the wound will just add more pain to the victim. Make sure that the gauze is wrapped loosely to prevent putting a lot of pressure to the burned area. The bandage helps keep the air off the burn, minimize pain and offer protection to the blistered skin.
  • Administer pain reliever. There are several over the counter pain killers that you can give the victim to reduce the pain. Some of the drugs include naproxen, ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. However, take extra precaution as you give aspirin to kids and teenagers. If your child is recovering from flu symptoms or chickenpox, do not give aspirin. If the minor burns seem to be more dangerous, it is important to contact your doctor.

In most cases, minor burns tend to get treated without further treatments apart from the first aid offered at home. However, you need to check out for symptoms that may indicate further infections, for example, fever, redness, oozing, swelling or increased pain. If you recognize any of the symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical help from your physician. Do not re-injure or tan if the burns are less than one year old. This may lead to more pigmentation changes.

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