Burns: First Aid and Preventive Tips

Being exposed to fire is no joke. It can cause serious and permanent damages to the body. Hence, it is always best to know the proper preventive measures in order to avoid the danger of burns.

First Aid Treatments

For superficial burns, prepare a solution of vinegar, water, and two heaping teaspoonfuls of baking soda or a rounded teaspoonful of common salt in a one pint container (450 cc). Any soothing or protective grease, such as petroleum or 5% csulfathiazole ointment, can be used as a substitute. However, application of grease is not ideal if the burn is to be checked up by a physician in the future.

For deep or extensive burns, put the patient to bed, removing clothing from burned areas carefully. If the clothing adheres to the skin, cut out the adherent portions and remove the rest of the clothing so the patient can be undresses. Be careful not to tear the skin or other tissues in the body. Do not let the patient become chilled because of the danger of shock. Send for a physician at once.

After the burn, one of the greatest perils is infection. As soon as possible, and continuously until the physician arrives, cover the burned areas with sterile gauze, kept wet with a solution of baking soda or common salt to keep out dirt and keep the gauze from sticking to the raw flesh. Never put absorbent cotton next to the skin as a dressing over a burned area. Before preparing and handling any dressing for a burn, be sure your hands are clean, and preferably rinsed in a Lysol solution and dried on a clean towel.

Preventive Measures

The prevention of burns is obviously an important objective. Since a burn may be fatal, crippling, or permanently disfiguring, you should know how to protect yourself against burns. Here are several useful preventive measures against burns and fire:

When going outside, do not forget to apply sun-screen lotion on your skin. Make sure that it contains at least 98% UV protection to ensure that the heat of the sun will not cause your skin to burn.

Fireproof your home. Install smoke alarms and plan emergency exits. Moreover, make sure that your child wears appropriate protective gear. Teach him to observe safety precautions when he is around heat or radiation.

Be cautious with uncovered electric wires. Do not touch wires and electric outlets with wet, bare hands. Discard extension cords with a pronged plug on one end and a bulb socket on the other as these are hazardous.

Teach children safety rules about handling matches and electrical outlets. If there are small children on the house, ensure that there are safety caps on unused outlets.