New years first aid advice – burns

On New Year’s Eve it’s likely many of us (who aren’t working) will be out celebrating the arrival of 2019, and who can have a New Years celebration without fireworks. (Here’s some more advice on Fireworks)

Whether you’re off to a big display, nipping round a friend or family members or letting off a few rockets in the garden, there’s a risk that we should be considering, burns.

If someone has serious burnt themselves, please stop reading this and if they’re seriously injured and their life is at risk call: 999 or If it’s urgent and you need advice try calling: 111

Here are a few top tips for helping someone with a burn this New Year’s Eve.

The best way to help someone with a burn is with cold running water.

Here’s how.

First aid for a burn

1.  Make sure you’re safe to help them and then get the person away from the hot thing, then you need to cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes – do not use ice, iced water.

2. If you can remove any clothing or jewellery that’s near the burnt area of skin, including babies’ nappies, but do not move anything that’s stuck to the skin.

3. Wrap the burn in clean cling film or a plastic bag to try and prevent infection.

4. Remember to keep them comfortable, keeping them warm and looking out for other issues.

More advice from the NHS on burns

If in doubt seek medical help

I don’t have access to running water. What should I do?

You may not be within reach of running water. If you don’t have fresh water to cool the burn, salt water will help to cool the wound but it’s likely to sting more and it might not be very clean.

Any other cool liquid such as champagne, beer or cider will work. The soft drinks would also do the same job so any squash or milk would work, the aim is to cool the area as quickly as possible using whatever cool liquid is available.

What shouldn’t you do?

A British Red Cross poll found that more than one in ten parents choose old wives’ tales to treat their children’s burns.

Over the years we’ve heard things like butter, lard and olive oil all mentioned as treatments for burns and scalds. These won’t help cool a burn, they might just fry the wound.

If you’re worried about what to do if face with a burn, get in touch and talk to us about our first aid courses which cover burns and scald amongst other injuries and illnesses.

(Advice from British Red Cross and NHS)

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