Whether you have a minor sunburn or a serious burn, receiving proper care is essential. Learn how to prevent and seek treatment for burn injuries.

Burns can happen any time, so it’s important to know what to do to minimize damage or further injury.

The most important tip: If you have a burn emergency, always seek professional medical attention immediately!

First Aid Response

Follow these tips immediately after a serious burn occurs:

  1. Stop the burning process. If clothing catches fire, STOP, DROP and ROLL!
    • STOP because running will fan the flames.
    • DROP to the ground and cover your eyes and nose with your hands.
    • ROLL side to side to smother the flames.
  2. Remove all burned clothes. Hot clothing may cause a deeper injury. If clothing sticks to the skin, cut or tear around it.
  3. Pour cool water over burned areas. Do this for 3 to 5 minutes (30 to 40 minutes for a chemical burn).
  4. Do not pack the burned areas in ice. This may cause more damage and hypothermia.
  5. Remove all jewelry, belts and tight clothing. Burned areas will swell immediately. If the victim’s neck is burned, make sure nothing is around it.
  6. Do not apply ointments or other home remedies to bad burns. These may cause serious infections.
  7. Cover burns with a clean, dry bandage or sheet.
  8. Keep the victim warm.
  9. Seek medical attention immediately.

Hot water can injure or kill

Extremely hot water can instantly burn and cause scarring, disabling or life-threatening burns.

Stay safe and keep your water heater in your home set to 120-130 degrees. Thermostats in water heaters can malfunction, so always test the water before before bathing or showering.

Guard your child against burns

Educate your children about the dangers of burns and follow the tips in this list to keep kids safe.

Hot liquids

Liquid at 140 degrees Fahrenheit will badly burn a you or your child within two seconds. Keep the following tips in mind to prevent that from happening:

  • Test hot water in sinks, showers and bathtubs with your elbow.
  • Never leave children alone in the tub, shower or sink – they may turn the hot water on.
  • Don’t bathe a child under running water – the temperature can change very quickly.
  • Keep the handles on cooking pots turned in.
  • Keep cups and bowls with hot contents out of reach.
  • Don’t hold or pass hot liquids over children.
  • Keep radiator valves secured, because steam can scald.

Hot surfaces

It’s common for adults and children to burn themselves by touching a hot surface.

  • Always supervise children.
  • Never place cribs and beds near radiators.
  • Always keep the oven door closed.
  • Never place an iron on a bed or the floor or leave it unattended.
  • Never leave a curling iron unattended or out for a child to plug in.
  • Keep children away from the stove or hot plates.
  • Keep cords out of the way.
  • Arizona’s hot summers produce a lot of hot surfaces like cement, car door handles, and much more. Make sure you wear protective layers and are aware of possible hot surfaces.

Types of burns:

First Degree

A first-degree burn is like a sunburn. It is painful damage to the first layer of your skin that turns the skin pink, red and dry. Applying skin moisturizers helps the healing process and controls the pain. Some peeling occurs, but there is no scarring. Most first-degree burns heal after a few days.

Second Degree

Second-degree burns may take on the different forms below.

  • Superficial burns may heal over the timespan of two weeks.
  • Mid-dermal burns are deeper into the skin and sometimes cannot heal well without an operation and skin grafting.
  • Partial thickness burns destroy the top layers of skin, which causes blistering. If blisters pop, it is best to keep them covered using a clean, nonstick bandage and seek medical attention.

Third Degree

Known as a full thickness burn, a third-degree burn goes very deep into the skin, causing it to feel dry and hard. Because the burn has damaged the nerves, the patient won’t have much feeling and the burn will not heal without an operation.

With any type of burn, make sure you keep yourself hydrated.