The skin is the body’s largest organ. A burn is an injury to this organ, the skin. Burn treatments vary based on the severity of the injury.
|Faulty appliances (i.e., space heaters)
|Fire / Flame (i.e., matches)
|Heat (i.e., hot liquid, steam)
|Kitchen accidents (i.e., hot surfaces – stoves, ovens, irons)
|Motor vehicle accidents
Signs and Symptoms:
|Coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing (burned airway)
|Numbness in the skin
|Red, white or charred skin
Common Emergency Example(s):
First Degree Burn (Superficial):
A first degree burn affects only the uppermost or outer layer of the skin. This burn causes mild redness, swelling and pain.
Second Degree Burn (Partial Thickness):
A second degree, or partial thickness, burn affects both the upper layer of the skin and the skin underneath it. Some specific symptoms for this burn include: redness, swelling, pain and blistering.
Third Degree Burn (Full Thickness):
A third degree, or full thickness, burn is the most severe and destroys the deep layers of the skin. This can lead to numb skin and white or blackened skin.
- Apply ointments or any household remedies to severe burns
- Blow air or cough on the burn
- Disturb any blister or charred skin
- Give the person anything to eat or drink if the burn is severe
- Place a severe burn under ice-cold water
- Remove anything that is stuck to the burn
- Touch the burn and risk infection
- Use any kind of dressing that may stick to the burn
First Aid Actions / Treatment:
- Assess the scene and check for your safety, especially at the scene of an electrical injury. Stay clear of the person if he / she is in contact with a power source that is on.
- Get a First Aid kit and wear personal protective equipment.
- If someone is on fire, have them Stop, Drop, and Roll – cover with a wet blanket to put the fire out. Replace with a dry blanket when the fire is out.
- Activate EMS (Call 9-1-1) if the burn is severe (third-degree burn) or the scene becomes unsafe.
- Remove clothing or jewelry that is NOT stuck to the skin / burn.
- Cool all burns with cold water (not ice-cold water; don’t use ice) until the burning subsides; cover with a dry, sterile dressing.
- If necessary in severe conditions, provide CPR. If you do not know how, give Hands-Only CPR.