4 Steps After You’ve Been Burned
You’re in the kitchen cooking dinner after placing the freshly baked cookies onto the counter when your three-year-old walks in. He sees the cookies cooling on the hot baking sheet. Although you warn him he can’t have a cookie before dinner, he reaches up to get a cookie. You turn to look at him just a second too late as he screams out and the pan hits the floor.
As you fix your hair in the morning, you set the flat irons down on the counter. Your two-year-old has been watching you, fascinated with this strange object. You leave the bathroom for just a second, and she eagerly grabs the hot flat iron.
Burn injuries are ranked as one of the most common type of home-related accidents. These situations can happen to the most careful and watchful parents. Physicians Urgent Care has four steps for you to take immediately after a burn accident.
4 steps to take immediately after a burn:
- Stop the heat. Submerge the burn area in cold water as fast as you can. If the burn area is on a part of the body that can’t be submerge, then immediately pour cold water over the area several times or rinse the area under a faucet or shower. Remove any clothing or jewelry covering the area, then pour more water over the burn. Pouring cold water on the area as quickly as possible is the single most important factor that can minimize the burn damage.
- Do not use ice or ice water. This can cause tissue damage to the skin, which can make the burn worse.
- Do not put any butter, grease or powder on the burn.
- Continue to run the burn area under cold water for at least 20 minutes. Most children will protest holding the area under cold water. If you are unable to calm them you can use washcloths repeatedly soaked in cold water.
After the first initial 20 minutes of cold water, you should assess the burn. There are three degrees of burn injuries, which represents the severity of the wound. Most first and second degree burns can be treated at home. However, burn treatment depends on what kind of burn you have.
Seek immediate medical attention if:
- 1st or 2nd degree burn area is 2 to 3 inches in diameter.
- Determine to be 3rd degree burn. Will be swollen and appear white or charred.
- The burn is on your face, over a major joint, hands, feet or genitals.
Burns can be caused by heat, fire, sunlight, electricity, radiation, chemicals or hot or boiling water. If you experience a burn, your neighborhood Physicians Urgent Care has emergency room doctors ready to take care of your wounds. Our staff is available seven days a week, with no appointment necessary. Get compassionate, qualified care from our ER doctors at a fraction of the cost. For directions, hours and information in Franklin, TN, call 615-457-3864. In Brentwood, TN, call 615-472-1550.