First Aid Tips for Burns
June 29, 2017Burns can happen extremely suddenly and lead to extensive pain and even the possibility of infection and other severe consequences. As a family caregiver it is important that you not only recognize the risks of burns and are able to identify the severity of burns when they occur, but that you are able to respond to those burns in the way that is safest, healthiest, and most effective. This can minimize the severity of the consequences and help your parent start healing.Use these first aid tips to handle a burn that your aging parent might suffer:
- Immediately cool the burn. As soon as your parent suffers a burn, it is important to cool it. This will draw the heat out of the burn and the surrounding tissue, halting the damage and easing the pain. Run the injured area under cool running water for at least five minutes. Never put ice on a burn and do not rub it, as this could lead to serious damage to the tissue.
- Leave blisters alone. The blisters of a second degree burn can form within minutes of the injury occurring. If you notice these blisters forming while cooling the burn, do not break, puncture, or otherwise try to remove them. These are the body’s way of cooling the tissue and protecting it in an effort to start the healing process.
- Cover the burn. Once the area is cooled, cover it lightly to protect it. Use a clean bandage that will not stick. Do not cover too tightly. Covering the burn will protect it from the air, reducing pain and also guarding it from germs that can lead to infection
- Keep the burn clean. Keep the area around the burn clean with gentle soap and water, but do not rub or scrub the burn itself. Never apply any type of grease or butter to the burn or the area, as this can make the injury more serious and increase the chances of infection.
- Talk to a doctor. Never hesitate to talk to your parent’s doctor about their burn. Avoid using any ointments or creams until you have consulted with them to ensure that it is safe.