Burns are one of the most common injuries to occur in the home. An estimated 250,000 children under the age of 17 are treated annually in hospitals and ERs for burn injuries.
There are three primary types of burns:
- First-degree burns- damage is done only to the outer layer of the skin. These burns can result in minor swelling, blisters or redness
- Second-degree burns- damage is done to the outer layer and the layer underneath the skin. Skin may develop blisters or begin to thicken
- Third-degree burns- damage is done to deeper tissue. Skin might appear charred, white or leathery in appearance
When treating minor burns that do not require emergency care such as first-degree burns, doctors recommend:
- Holding the burned area under cool (not cold) running water or applying a cool compress. Do not apply ice as this can cause further damage
- Taking over-the-counter-pain relievers
- Applying an anesthetic lotion that contains aloe vera to the affected area
- Applying an antibiotic ointment
- Bandaging the burn , with a sterile, non- adhesive, gauze bandage (not cotton balls as small fibers can adhere to the burn)
You should seek medical attention if:
- There are signs of an infection
- The burn blister is larger than three inches in diameter
- Pain endures for several hours
- The burn appears deep
- The burn affects a widespread area such as the face, feet, hands, groin or buttocks
Burns in the home can be prevented when proper safety measures are practiced. The National Fire Protection Association offers helpful tips to help keep you and your family safe. Please visit their website https://www.nfpa.org for more information.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.