A burn can be caused by dry heat such as contact with fire, or a hot iron, or exposure to the sun. A scald can be caused by contact with wet heat, like steam or a hot cup of tea. The longer the burning goes on the more severe the injury. Your priority is to cool the burn as quickly as possible.
What to look for
- red skin and swelling
- pain in the area of the burn
- blistering may start to appear
What to do
Follow the steps below:
Don't touch the burned area.
Don't remove any clothing stuck to the burn unless contaminated with chemicals.
Leave any blisters intact.
Hold the burn under cool or lukewarm running water for a minimum of 20 minutes, or until the pain eases.
Remove any jewellery or other constrictions while cooling.
Cover lengthways with a clean plastic bag, kitchen film, or a sterile dressing.
Dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance if they have:
- full thickness burns of any size
- partial thickness burns larger than 1% (an area the size of the casualty’s palm and fingers)
- superficial burns larger than 5% of the body surface
- burns on the hands, face, feet, or genitals
- burns with a mixed pattern and/or depth or that extends all around the limb