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Burn Prevention and Treatment

Injuries and deaths caused by burns and scalds are very common, especially among young children. Due to children’s high energy and curiosity they are at an increased risk of burns caused from hot liquids, home appliances, fireplaces, lighters / matches and bathing. It is very important to teach children safety of hot objects and liquids, as most occurrences of burns could have been prevented with the proper safety precautions.

  • When bathing a child, always turn on the cold water first before the hot. Check the temperature before putting your child in the bathtub. Always position them so that their backs are facing away from the faucet and never leave them unattended. Consider adjusting your hot water heater to a maximum temperature of 49oC or 120oF to avoid scalds.
  • Place hot food and beverages in the centre of the table, and avoid using tablecloths that could easily be pulled off.
  • When cooking always turn pot handles towards the centre of the stove and do not leave appliance cords in reach of children.
  • Protect your skin from the sun and always use a sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking, barbecuing or attending to a fire pit or fireplace.
  • Store lighters / matches out of sight and reach of children.

Types of Burns

  • First Degree Burn
    • Top layer of the skin is damaged.
    • Redness, pressure and pain.
  • Second Degree Burn
    • Second layer of skin is damaged.
    • Blistering may occur.
  • Third Degree Burn
    • Skin and nerve endings are destroyed.
    • Discolouration of tissue, dry and leathery.

First Aid

  1. Cool the burn area with cold water to reduce skin damage and pain.
  2. Never use any form of ointment, lotion, or cream on the burn area.
  3. Do not remove any clothing that is sticking to the burn, as this could cause further damage and/or infection.
  4. Apply a clean, dry dressing to the burn.
  5. For second and third degree burns, immediately seek medical attention.

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