Burns: What to do

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Burns are common, painful and life changing injuries that can occur under many circumstances, in and out of the workplace. There are lots of myths out there about how to deal with a burn. You may have heard of putting butter on burns. However, any oily substances keep the heat in. So, this will not cool a burn, the best way to treat a burn is to run the affected area under cold running water.

Burns can be caused by a variety of sources, and these include hot water or steam, chemicals, electricity, flames, or the sun. Burns are particularly serious to the elderly or babies and young children, regardless of the depth. Burns which are caused by chemical or electricity. All burns involving the face, genitals, feet or hands. If they involve the airways, or if a burn covers a large area of the body. Always remember to seek medical assistance for these types of burns.

How to treat a Burn:

  • Immediately cool the burn, under cold running water for at least 20 minutes. Cooling the burn will significantly reduce pain, tissue damage, swelling and the risk of scarring.


  • Remove watches, rings etc, if possible before the area starts to swell.


  • Cover the burn with cling or a sterile dressing. This helps prevent infection by keeping the area clean. Cling film will also not stick onto a burn.


  • Call 999/112 for an ambulance if necessary. See above.


  • Look out for signs and treat for shock, if necessary, which may be caused due to fluid loss.


  • Burst Blisters
  • Touch the burn
  • Apply creams, ointments or fats
  • Remove clothing that has stick to the burn

Interested in learning First Aid?

Why not attend one of our First Aid Courses in High Wycombe that we run regularly.

We can also come in-house to your office or place of work at a date and time that suits your requirements to run a workplace first aid course.

Get in touch for more details.

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