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First aid for burns
Stop the burning process
Firstly, consider your own safety:
- If on fire: Stop-drop-roll
- If electrical:Turn off current
- If chemical: Remove the burning agent and irrigate with water
Cool the burn
With running cool water for at least 20 minutes. Useful for up to 3 hours after injury:
- Do not cause hypothermia, keep warm
- Do not use ice.
For all burns and scalds:
- Remove clothing not stuck to the burn site.
- Remove all jewellery and watches
Cover the burn
Use a clean dressing or clingwrap (do not wrap circumferentially). Seek medical assistance.
What to do after a burn
How to treat and heal your burn
Elevating your limb
- It is normal for a burn to swell for about 48 hours
- Help reduce or control the swelling by elevating the burned area above the level of your heart.
Cleaning your burn
- We will apply clean dressings to your burn at the burns clinic.
- This will act as a barrier to help prevent germs from entering your wound.
- You can help reduce the risk of infection by keeping the dressings clean and dry.
Exercising with a burn
- Exercise should be limited.
- Please discuss with the burns staff treating you about what you can do.
- If your burn is over a joint on your arm or leg, you need to gently bend this joint.
- This movement prevents the joint from stiffening and reduces swelling.
Resting the burned area
- Apart from regular gentle exercise to move your joints, the burned areas should be rested.
- If you continue to use your burnt limb, it can lead to increased swelling and pain.