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Taking Charge of Your Health


Burns and scalds are damage to the skin
caused by heat. A burn is usually caused by dry heat and a scald is caused by wet heat. You need to stop the burning by cooling the burn as soon as possible. This will decrease the severity of the
injury. If someone has a severe burn, they may develop shock, which is a
life-threatening condition and they will need to get to the hospital as soon as
possible. There are five signs which may be seen
when someone has a burn or scald. Red skin, swelling, blisters on the skin,
peeling skin or the skin may be white or scorched. If someone has a burn or scald, move them away from the source of the heat to stop the burn getting any worse, then start
cooling the burn as quickly as possible. Place it under cool running water for at
least 10 minutes or until the pain feels better. Don’t use ice, gels or creams as this
could damage the tissue and increase the risk of infection. If the burn looks like
a serious burn, or it’s to a child, is larger than the size of the casualty’s
hand, is a burn to their face, hands or feet, or if it’s a deep burn then call
999 or 112 for emergency help. If possible, get someone to do this for you
while you continue to cool the burn or use the speakerphone if you’re on your
own. Gently remove any jewellery or clothing
near the burn unless it is stuck to it. When the burn is
cooled cover it lengthways with cling film, get rid of the first two turns of
film and then apply it lengthways over the burn. Use a plastic bag if you have
no kitchen film, this will protect the burn from infection. Never burst any blisters which may have
formed as this may increase the risk of infection. Do not use ointments or fats to treat
the burns as this may increase the risk of infection. Special burns dressings and
gels are not recommended. You may also need to treat the casualty
for shock. So remember when treating burns and
scalds, move the casualty away from the heat source, place the burn under cool
running water for at least 10 minutes. If it’s larger than their hand, a deep burn,
they’re a child, the burn is on their face, their hands on their feet call 999 or
112 for emergency help. Treat them for shock if necessary. And that’s how you
treat a burn or scald. If this video has been helpful to you
help support St John Ambulance by going to sja.org.uk/donate

21 thoughts on “How to Treat Burns and Scalds – First Aid Training – St John Ambulance

  1. But I've just received my St. John's first aid kit and within it was burns cooling cream,am I missing something here?

  2. Hmmm please correct me if I'm wrong, the cool gel provided in first aid kit designed for this purpose and advisable to use if is particular or full thickness burn no? Cool the burn under running cold water for 10mins if is fire burn 20 mins if is chemical burn, put on ur gloves and apply the cooling gel then cover it with cling film or none fluffy dressing/bandages.

  3. I scalded my head with hot water in shower now i have irregular shaoed scading on my skin on my head specially where I am bald. What should I do? Its been almost a week now.

  4. St Johns needs to update its website information to current recommendations from the burns associations in the UK and Australia (BBA and ANZBA respectively) which is 20 mins of cool running water not 10 minutes. This debate is over. The 10 minute figure is not supported by evidence – it is arbitrary, even though the ERC recommends this time frame and many 1st aid bodies just regurgitate the ERC's recommendations. But the ERC's recommendations have been challenged. Their use of the "GRADE" appraisal tool failed to take into account its very weaknesses. They excluded every single study used by all the burns associations in their recommendations simply because the studies were not human trials of which there are very few in burn care in the first place because of obvious ethical barriers like having an untreated control.

    And St john recommending hydrogels is a conflict of interest because you stock your first aid kits for sale with this product despite telling people to cool with water. Which is it guys? And recommending unproven products like hydrogels just continues to encourage people to use alternatives. What happens to a father who has bought one of your kits when his child gets a serious scald injury? Does he reach for the Burnaid/Water-Jel or treat with water under the shower whose temperature, flow rate and forcefulness can be moderated at will? With modern shower fixtures, detachable faucet hoses can be used to apply the water on just the burned areas which is even better, helping to mitigate the risk of hypothermia. A worse scenario caused by the confusion you foment with mixed signals is dad may become so confused he will use both treatments.

    See what I'm saying. Burn first aid needs what I call a "standard model". The best supported is 20 minutes of cooling with gentle running water and clingfilm dressing. That's it.

  5. My left foot is burn and there is many minor scraps on it , any medicine or Tube to change it in normal skin

  6. In indonesia we use just white toothpaste…apply thick enough and dont use water…wait 3 to 5 minutes and the paint will gone..wait until it dry…it will leave no scar at all…..
    And dont say it wont work,..because i did it all the time and always work,.,,for burned skin because of heat…

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