Basics of First Aid for Burn

Basics of First Aid for Burns

Dealing with burns is a  faily common injury and situation that a majority of people have had to deal with, in this article we cover the basics of First Aid for Burns.

The severity of burns will depend upon its depth, location, and size. Burns are extremely severe when they’re located on the neck, face, feet, hands, and genitals. Furthermore, burns are also very serious when they’re spread over big parts on the body, or if they’re combined with some other injuries.

In order to give the appropriate first aid for burn, it is important to differentiate minor burns from serious burns, the initial step would be to determine the extent and degree of the damage to the body tissues. There are three classifications of burns, namely first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns. These categories will help one determine the kind of emergency care that’s needed.

First-Degree Burns

This is the least serious of the types of burns, wherein only the outer skin layer or epidermis has been burned. The victim’s skin will usually be red that’s swelling and painful at times. The skin’s outer layer has not been burned through. This type of burn is treated as minor, unless the burn involves considerable portions of the feet, hands, face, buttocks or groins, or major joints.

Second-Degree Burns

This type of burn involves the skin’s first layer being burned through, as well as the skin’s second layer or dermis. This injury will have blisters, and the victim’s skin will be intensely red and splotchy in appearance. These burns also produce severe swelling and pain.

Third-Degree Burns

These are the most serious burns, painless, and involve every skin layer. Muscle, fat, and even bones can be affected. The burned areas can appear white and dry or charred black. The victim will have difficulty exhaling and inhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or some other toxic effects from the smoke inhaled.

First aid for burn that’s minor, including second-degree burns that are limited to areas not bigger than two to three inches, can do the following steps: Cool the burn by holding under cool running water for about five minutes or until pain subsides. This will reduce swelling. Do not put ice on burns. Cover with sterile gauze, and do not use “fluffy” cotton that can irritate the skin. Take an “over-the-counter” pain reliever.

Minor burns will usually heal even without further treatment. Watch out for symptoms of infection like oozing or swelling, fever, increased pain, or fever.

First aid for burn that’s major will need emergency medical assistance -call 911. While waiting for emergency unit to arrive, first aid for burn of this type involves the following: do not remove burnt clothing, do not immerse large and severe burns in cold water, check for symptoms of circulation like coughing, movement, or breathing. If there’s no breathing, begin CPR. Cover the burned area.

First aid for burn must be given accordingly and appropriately. If emergency medical help is needed, do not delay and do not hesitate to summon assistance.

The Emergency First Aid Course covers a majority of the injuries that would be obtained even in the comfort of your home. 

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Join First Aid and Safety Training for nationally recognised, enjoyable and effective First Aid Courses and Training either onsite at your workplace anywhere in the North East or attend one of the open Emergency First Aid courses at our South Shields First Aid Training Centre. If you have any questions, please send an email to, call 0191 7166601 or send us a message online.

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Adam is the lead trainer at First Aid and Safety Training, with a background in the Military and the Police he has a wealth of first hand experience and knowledge about First Aid. If you have any questions about First Aid or our training courses, all you need to do is send us a message online or give us a call on 0191 7166601.

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