Treating Burns Quickly and Safely: First Aid Essentials

Burns Treatment

Ever thought about the best way to handle burns? Just using cold water may not be enough. It’s vital to know the right first aid items and methods for all types of burns. Being quick and knowing what to do can really help someone’s recovery from a burn.

Key Takeaways:

  • Having a well-stocked burns first aid kit is crucial for providing immediate relief and proper care.
  • Employers are legally required to have burn first aid kits in workplaces where burn injuries could occur.
  • Immediate first aid steps for burns include stopping the burning process, cooling the burn, and covering it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.
  • Major burns require immediate medical attention, while minor burns can generally be treated at home.
  • Electrical burns and chemical burns should always receive prompt medical attention.

The Importance of Burns First Aid Kits in the Workplace

Under UK law, employers must have a burn first aid kit available where burn risks are present. This covers places like kitchens, warehouses, factories, and building sites. It’s key to have these burncare items at hand to lower burn’s impact. These kits must include burn dressings and other essentials for quick and proper treatment.

Dealing with burns in the workplace is critical. Burns can happen in many jobs, and quick care is crucial. The right burncare items can really help with a quick recovery.

A complete burn first aid kit is essential for on-the-job first aid. It tackles both simple kitchen burns and larger workplace accidents. With the right supplies, early care and protection are easy to manage. This includes burncare dressings for soothing and protecting the burn area.

Besides dressings, burn kits should have burn blott for cooling, eyewash for eye burns, and more. All these items help in immediate care. They also ensure safety during first aid, thanks to items like nitrile gloves.

By having these burncare tools, employers show they care for their team’s safety. It’s about being ready and acting fast if burns happen. Good burncare can make burns less severe, lower pain, and achieve better outcomes for everyone.

First Aid Techniques for Treating Burns

Getting first aid right for burns is all about acting fast and doing the right things. This cuts down on more harm and helps the skin heal. Here’s what to do:

  1. Stop the burning process: Firstly, put out the fire or get away from the hot item. Water or a blanket can help smother flames. This keeps the burn from getting worse.
  2. Remove clothing: Get rid of clothes near the burn, but not if they’re stuck. This stops more pain and lets you see the burn clearly.
  3. Cool the burn: Use cool water on the burn for 20 minutes. It eases pain and prevents skin damage. But, don’t use ice or very cold water.
  4. Keep warm: After cooling, cover the person with a dry cloth. This stops them getting too cold, especially for big burns.
  5. Cover the burn: After cooling and drying, cover the burn with a clean nonstick cloth or bandage. This stops infections and helps the skin heal.
  6. Treat the pain: Over-the-counter pain med like paracetamol helps with pain and swelling. Just make sure you take the right amount.
  7. Raise the affected area: Try lifting the burnt area up. This can make it less swollen and painful.
  8. Know when to seek medical attention: Some burns need a doctor, like ones on your face or from chemicals. Also, get help for deep burns or those with infection signs.

Quick and proper first aid for burns is key for fast healing. If the burn looks bad or you’re unsure, it’s smart to see a doctor.

First Aid for Electrical Burns

Electrical burns are serious and need fast medical help. For a low-voltage burn, make sure you turn off the power before helping. This stops more harm from the current. But, if it’s a high-voltage burn, don’t try to help directly. Call emergency services right away.

Acid and chemical burns are also emergencies. Take off any clothes touched by the acid or chemical fast. Then, wash the area with lots of water for 20 minutes. This helps get rid of the chemicals and stops more skin damage.

Sunburn may seem less serious, but it still needs care. If someone has sunburn, cool the skin down with water or a cold cloth. You can use aftersun lotion and painkillers for relief. Make sure to drink lots of water, stay out of the sun, and wear sunscreen to avoid more sunburns.

Preventing Electrical Burns

It’s always best to avoid getting hurt. Here are some tips to lower the risk of electrical burns:

  • Avoid touching electrical outlets or wires.
  • Check that electrical items and cords are safe to use.
  • Use circuit breakers and ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) for safety.
  • Keep electrical things away from water to avoid shocks.
  • Use protective clothing like gloves and goggles when working with electricity.


Electrical burns need quick medical care. Turn off the power for low-voltage burns first. But, for high-voltage ones, call for help immediately. Treat acid and chemical burns by removing clothes, then washing the area with water for 20 minutes. Remember, always get help if a burn seems serious or if you’re unsure what to do.

When to Seek Emergency Care for Burns

Major burns need quick medical help. These are deep or charred burns, over 3 inches wide. They are also on hands, feet, and dangerous if with smoke inhalation or shock. Get help at once for burns on face, neck, hands, feet, and any serious burns.

If you have health issues or a weak immune system, burns can be very bad. This is also true for babies, the elderly, and anyone hurt on purpose. They need fast medical care too.

Consider how deep and wide the burn is, and if the skin is charred. Burns over 3 inches, those hiding in hands or feet, need the doctor fast.

Chemical burns are serious too. Rinse them with water and get help soon. These burns can be bad, causing lasting harm.

Smoke from a burn can hurt your lungs. If you’re breathing hard, have chest pain, or coughing, get to the ER now.

Burns might cause shock, hurting vital organs. Look out for like pale skin, fast breathing, weak pulse, or being confused. These need fast medical attention.

Don’t wait to get help for burns that seem severe. Quick care makes a big difference in getting better.

Signs that indicate the need for emergency medical help

SignsWhen to Seek Emergency Care
Deep or charred burnsImmediately
Burns larger than 3 inches in diameterImmediately
Burns on sensitive areas (hands, feet, face, neck, genitals)Immediately
Burns accompanied by smoke inhalationImmediately
Burns on individuals with medical conditions or weakened immune systemsImmediately
Babies, older adults, intentionally injured individualsImmediately
Chemical burnsImmediately
Signs of shockImmediately
Emergency medical help for burns

Treating Major Burns Before Medical Help Arrives

Dealing with major burns requires quick actions for initial relief and to shield the person from more harm. It’s key to keep cool and follow these crucial steps until help arrives:

  1. Protect them from hazards. Make sure they’re in a safe place, free from danger.
  2. Check their breathing. If they’re alert and breathing well, keep eye on their breath.
  3. Remove tight things near the burn. This stops circulation issues and lessens risks.
  4. Cover the burn lightly to dodge infection and reduce contact with the air.
  5. Raise the burned area if you can. This might lower swelling and ease pain.
  6. Watch for signs of shock like cold, wet skin, weak pulse, or faint breath. If you spot these, get help fast.

Finally, remember that first aid for major burns is a crucial start, but can’t replace expert care. Call emergency numbers or get them to a medical facility as soon as you can for the right treatment and further care.

Knowing how to handle major burns immediately can greatly change the result. By guarding the person, checking their breath, taking off tight items, covering the burn, lifting the wound, and watching for shock signs, you can lower their pain and maybe, lower the burn’s seriousness. This is all vital if professional medical help is not yet there.

Steps for Treating Major Burns Before Medical Help Arrives
Protect the burned individual from further harm
Check their breathing
Remove any tight items
Cover the burn with a clean cloth or sterile dressing
Raise the affected area
Monitor for signs of shock

First Aid for Minor Burns

You can treat minor burns easily at home. Just follow some simple steps. These can help reduce pain and speed up healing.

Cool the Burn

Right after you get burned, run cool water over it for 10 minutes. This lowers pain and stops the burn from getting worse. Don’t use ice because it can harm your skin more.

Remove Tight Items

For burns under tight clothes or jewellery, gently take them off. This stops the area from getting squeezed. It also lets air get to the burn for healing.

Avoid Breaking Blisters

Let any new blisters stay. They protect the burned skin. Popping them can cause infection. Just let them heal on their own.

Apply Lotion

After cooling the burn, put on a burn cream. Use products made for burns. They calm the skin and help it heal. Never use butter or oil. They can make the burn worse.

Bandage the Burn

After applying cream, lightly wrap the burn with a clean dressing or cloth. This keeps it clean and safe. But don’t wrap it too tight or it could slow healing.

Use Pain Relievers

If the burn hurts, find relief in painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Follow the dose on the package. If you’re unsure, ask a pharmacist.

Certain burns need more serious medical help. These include burns near eyes, mouth, hands, or private parts. Always see a doctor for burns on babies or the elderly.

Minor Burn First AidAction
Cool the burnRun cool water over the burn for 10 minutes.
Remove tight itemsGently remove any tight clothing or jewelry near the burn.
Avoid breaking blistersDo not pop or break blisters that form over the burn.
Apply lotionApply a burn cream or ointment to the affected area.
Bandage the burnCover the burn with a sterile non-stick dressing or clean cloth.
Use pain relieversTake over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.
First Aid for Minor Burns

Burns Treatment for Electrical Burns and Chemical Burns

Quick action is key in treating electrical and chemical burns. You must act fast to get medical help. This stops further harm and aids in healing.

Switch off the power source for low-voltage electrical burns first. It keeps you safe. For high-voltage burns, call the experts. They need immediate medical care.

Various chemicals can cause burns. Take off the contaminated clothes first. Then, wash the area with water for 20 minutes. Don’t let the water touch other parts of the skin.

For acid and strong chemical burns, getting medical help fast is vital. They can be very harmful. Special treatments may be needed for these burns.

Always put your safety first with these burns. And get to a doctor quickly. Good medical care is essential for the best recovery.

Burn Prevention and Sunburn Treatment

Preventing burns is crucial, whether at home or work. Use oven mitts for hot pots in the kitchen. Follow rules for cooking and with hot liquids. At work, wear what you’re told and use safety gear to avoid burns.

To stop sun damage, follow these steps. Wear high SPF sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Put more on every two hours. Wear long sleeves and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.

Got a sunburn? Here’s what you can do. Have cool baths or showers to cool your skin. Use aftersun lotion to help the pain and stay moisturized. You can also take pain meds to lessen the discomfort.

Stay hydrated to avoid more problems. Know the signs of too much heat, like when it’s a hot summer. Acting early prevents burns and keeps your skin in good shape.

Looking For First Aid Training In The North East?

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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