Having taught children in hospitals, one of the work requirements was to take a First Aid class. I’m glad I took this class because I received some very practical information. One never knows when something of danger can happen to a family member. As a matter of fact, a neighbor can have an accident, so it is always wise to always be prepared. I live in California, where earthquakes are constantly being predicted, so it’s good to be prepared to be able to take care of anyone who may get burnt.
According to my booklet, Basic First Aid, (Author not indicated), “The least serious burns are those in which only the outer layer of skin is burned. This is a first degree burn. First-degree burns are superficial, and cause the skin to turn red. There may be a lot of pain and swelling. Cool the burn by holding the burned area under cold running water for 15 minutes. If this involves a child who may be too small to reach the faucet, use cold compresses. This reduces the swelling by carrying heat away from the skin. The important thing to remember is don’t use ice. After a burn is completely cooled, a lotion, such as one containing aloe vera or a moisturizer of any type can be used. This prevents drying, and makes a person feel more comfortable.”
The booklet, Basic First Aid, states that “Second degree burns are deeper. This is when the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin is also burned. In this type of burn, blisters develop, and the skin is intensely red, splotchy in appearance. If this type of burn is no larger than two or three inches in diameter, it can be treated as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger, or if the burn is on the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks or a major joint, get medical help immediately. Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage. Don’t use fluffy cotton, which may irritate the skin. Bandaging keeps air off the area, reduces pain and protects blistered skin.”
It is interesting to know that the most painless burn is the third degree burn. This type of burn involves all layers of the skin. Fat, muscle, and bone may be affected. According to the booklet,, Basic First Aid, “These areas may be charred black or appear dry and white. Difficulty inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning or other toxic effects may occur if smoke inhalation accompanied the burn.” for major burns, dial 911 or call emergency medical assistance.”
The following information about third degree burns stated in the booklet is important to know:
“Until an emergency unit arrives, follow these following steps:
1. Don’t remove burnt clothing. However, do make sure the victim is no longer in contact with smoldering materials or exposed to significant smoke or heat.
2. Make sure the burn victim is breathing. If breathing has stopped, or you suspect the person’s airway is blocked, try to clear the airway and, if necessary, do cardiopulmonary
3. Cover the area of the burn with a cool, moist sterile bandage or clean cloth”
It is wise to take a class in CPR. I have taken it several years ago because it was required.
Source: The Booklet, Basic First Aid