Managing & Avoiding Burns and Scalds at Home

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Burns and scalds can be said to be damage to the skin which is caused by heat. Usually, a burn can occur as a result of dry heat like fire incidence,  electricity as in, when you get an electric shock, chemical-like for example, dishwasher powder or oven cleaner,  the sun (sunburn)or even a hot iron. For Scald, it is usually caused by wet heat like a hot cup of coffee or tea, soup or steam.

One needs to be extra careful when handling issues related to burns as the longer the burning continues on the victim, the more severe the resultant injury will be and consequently the longer the healing process will take as such, endeavor to cool the burn as quickly as possible…

More so, if someone happens to have a severe burn or scald, the person may if the urgent step is not taken to arrest the situation, suffer from shock as a consequence of loss of fluid.  If it gets to such, then urgent hospitalization is required.

Be aware that the amount of pain you may feel is not always associated with how serious the burn is as a very severe burn can even be relatively painless.

What to look out for in burns and scalds

Below are certain main things to look for to ascertain if someone has burns and or scalds 

Swelling

Red skin

Situation where skin may peel

Situation where blisters form on the skin

The skin becoming white or scorched

What you need to do

First and foremost, stop the situation from becoming worse by moving the person away from the source of heat. 

Then start cooling the burn as quickly as possible by running it under cool water (not cold) or lukewarm running water for like 10 to 15 or even 20  minutes in some cases until the pain calms down.  You can as well use a clean towel dampened with cool tap water on the affected area. 

Avoid using Ice, Creams or Gels as they can damage the tissues as such the risk of infection is increased.

Ensure the affected person is kept warm by using a blanket to cover the person, however be careful not to rub it against the burnt area

Try sitting up as much as possible if the face or eyes are burnt rather than lying down which helps in reducing swelling

You can administer over the counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve)

Thereafter, assess how bad the burn is. There is a serious case if;

It is a deep burn

Becomes larger than the size of the casualty’s hand

Located on the hands, feet, face or genitals causing blisters

If skin appears charred or leathery with white, brown or black patches.

If the situation is serious, call the emergency medical help line.

Furthermore, endeavor to remove any clothing or jewelry which is located close to the affected or burning area quickly and gently before the area swells, however, if it’s stuck to it, then leave so medical expert can handle it.

The burn area should be covered with any clean, nonfluffy material, for example, a clean plastic bag or kitchen cling film so as not to allow any infection.

Treat for shock if necessary as a shock is a life-threatening condition and should not be confused with emotional shock.

The casualty should seek medical attention in a scenario where the person breathed in smoke or fumes. Certain symptoms may be delayed which includes

Difficulty breathing

Coughing

Sore throat

Facial burns

Pregnant women, children under 5 yrs and the elderly who are at greater risk from the effect of burns should get further medical attention after a burn or scald incident.

How to prevent burns and scalds from happening

It should be noted that most severe cases of burns and scalds affect babies and young children as such, below are few things you can do to help reduce chances of your child having a serious accident at home related to burns and or scald;

At all times ensure hot drinks are kept well away from young children

Endeavor to keep matches, lighters and lit candles out of young children’s reach and sight

Make sure you test the temperature of bath water using your elbow before you put your baby or toddler in the bath 

Whenever possible, endeavor to keep your child out of the kitchen

Avoid keeping lit cigarettes in the house as it can fall and start a fire

Irons should always be removed from the power source to avoid a child tripping over the hot iron and get burnt

Some basic things in burns and scalds and immediate remedies at home should such cases occur plus what to look out for to ascertain if it’s related to burns and or scald. Since prevention is better than cure

We pointed out how to prevent such from happening especially in homes with little children. Always be safety cautious and vigilant especially where there are kids around. 🙂 🙂

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