Burn First Aid
Application of appropriate first aid can make significant difference to the treatment and recovery of burn injuries.
What can you do?
Make sure you are safe
If on fire
- Stop, Drop to the ground, Cover face & Roll so fire is smothered.
- Smother flames with a fire blanket
- Move away from heat source
Remove clothing and jewellery (including nappies)
- Clothing can hold heat on the burnt area.
- If swelling occurs jewellery can stop blood flow to the burnt area.
If it’s a chemical burn:
- take off any contaminated clothing;
- for dry chemicals, brush off the chemicals before putting the burnt area under water.
Apply cool running water
- For at least 20 minutes
- If running water not available, wet 2 cloths and alternate them onto burn every 2 minutes
After first aid cover burn with clean cloth and keep patient warm
Give pain relief if required
If the burn is to your arm or leg:
- raise it whenever possible to reduce swelling
What should you avoid?
These do not cool the burn
What else should you be aware of?
- cool the burn, not the rest of the person
- don’t put someone with small burns into a bath full of cold water
- if blisters develop don’t pop them, visit your doctor in case they need to be removed
When to seek help?
If things get worse, or if you are not up to date with tetanus injections, see your doctor.
If you need urgent treatment call triple zero (000) or, if safe to do so, go to the nearest emergency department.
Source: Agency of Clinical Innovation Statewide Burn Injury Service