Treating Symptoms

All Burns

  1. Stop Burning Immediately
  • Remove person from hot liquid, steam, or other hazardous material and/or put out fire
  • Assist person with “stop, drop and roll” procedure to prevent further burning
  • Remove any smoldering items from person; unless, material is stuck to skin—tear material around it
  1. Remove Constrictive Clothing Immediately
  • Remove belts, jewelry, etc… burns swell fast

1st Degree Burns

  1. Cool burn

  • Immerse burn in cool (not cold) water or under running water
  • Use compresses if water is not of availability
  1. Protect burn

  • Do not apply ointments due to possible infection
  • Cover with clean, sterile, non-adhesive bandage or cloth
  1. Treat pain immediately

  • Provide pain relievers such as: ibuprofen, acetaminophen or naproxen

2nd Degree Burns

  1. Cool burn

  • Never apply ice to burn (further damage is possible)
  • Never pop or break blisters or apply ointments (may cause infection)
  • Immerse burn in cool (not cold) water or under running water up to 15 minutes
  • Use compresses if water is not of availability
  1. Protect burn

  • Wrap loosely with sterile non-adhesive bandages with gauze or tape
  1. Shock prevention

Follow this list – unless person is in discomfort or has a neck, head or leg injury

  • Lay person flat
  • Elevate feet at least 1 foot (above heart level)
  • Cover person with blanket

3rd Degree Burns

  1. Call 911 immediately

  2. Protect burn

  • Cover burn with non-stick sterile bandages or materials (make sure lint won’t get stuck in burn)
  • Never soak burn in water or use any ointments (can cause infection)
  • Separate fingers and toes with sterile dressings
  1. Shock prevention

Follow this list – unless person is in discomfort or has a neck, head or leg injury

  • If person lays down (and has an airway burn) never put a pillow under person’s head (airway can close)
  • If person has had a facial burn make sure they’re sitting up
  • Monitor breathing/pulse until EMS arrives

Call a Doctor

  • If person shows signs of infection
  • Person is in need of tetanus or booster shot
  • Pain lasting more than a few hours
  • Redness lasting more than a few hours
  • Pain worsens

Call 911

  • All layers of skin are penetrated
  • Person is an infant or senior
  • Skin is leathery or charred with black, brown or white patches
  • Blister oozes or is larger than 2 inches

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