Also known as superficial wounds, first-degree burns only affect the skin’s top layer. They are minor skin injuries, which don’t always require professional medical care. In some instances, they can be big and painful, requiring one to seek professional medical care. Burns occur often and so enrolling in a course regarding emergency first aid for burns is crucial to prepare yourself for such emergencies.
Common First-Degree Burns Symptoms
First-degree burns have minor symptoms that fade away after a few days. These include swelling, skin redness, and pain, which are often mild. Someone who has completed first aid burns will know how to treat most first-degree burns symptoms. First-degree burns can grow bigger sometimes, hence the need to visit a doctor.
Common Causes of First-Degree Burns
There are many causes of first-degree burns and they may include:
Sunburns— They are common first-degree burns, which occur when one is exposed to ultraviolet rays for long hours. They mostly make your skin peel, redden, or even blister.
Scalds—They are the main cause of first-degree burns in kids not older than 4 years. These happen when hot liquids spill on the victim’s body, hands, or face.
Electricity— Kids tend to adore the look of electrical appliances, sockets, and cords, but they often expose them to great risks.
How to Use First Aid to Treat Burns
Most superficial burns can be easily and quickly treated at home. However, if the size and condition of the burn appear bigger, you should call a doctor to examine the condition.
These are the signs doctors will check to confirm the severity of a burn.
- The depth of the burn into the skin’s layers
- If the burn is located near the mouth, eyes, or nose
- Whether it is swelling, oozing, or producing pus
You are advised to consult a doctor if the burn is extra painful, infected, and swollen. Burns in body areas like the hands, groin, feet, and face heal slower, hence the need to have them checked by a doctor.
The Best Way to Treat First-Degree Burns At Home
The best way to treat first-degree burns at home is to apply a cool compress on the burn to reduce swelling and pain. The compressing can be done for around five to fifteen minutes. You are advised never to use extra cold compresses or ice as they will likely aggravate the severity of the burn, causing more pain and swelling.
The Estimated Healing Time for First-Degree Burns
When the burned skin heals, it will peel off, which may take up to a couple of weeks. However, the time a burn takes to heal is dependent on the affected area. Consider seeking professional care when you detect signs of infections on the burn.
First Aid Methods to Prevent First-Degree Burns
There are many precautions to be observed to prevent first-degree burns, among which are outlined below.
- Unplug every appliance not being used from power
- Use childproof covers to insulate the exposed electrical sockets
- Keep all electrical cords away from children reach
- Wear sunblock or sunscreen with a sun protection factor of higher than 30 SPF
- Ensure the water from your water heater is not more than 120 ˚F. If your water heater generates water hotter than 120˚F, you should reset it to achieve the recommended temperature
- Ensure hot cooking pots are placed on burner backs with the handles turned away from the stovetop center
At the American Health Care Academy, we provide self-paced online First Aid certifications that prepare you for these types of emergencies. Register today to sharpen your skills today.