First Aid: Hot Liquid Burns
During the chilly winters, we often enjoy a hot cup of coffee. However, the scenario of enjoyment changes when accidentally the hot cup of coffee trips and causes a burn. In fact hot liquid burns are a very probable hazard in every home. Kids and young children, because of their curious nature often burn themselves with hot liquids. However, a quick action can prevent the situation from becoming ugly.
The first step in healing is to recognize the cause for the burn.
- Hot water
- Hot Steam
- Hot coffee or tea
- Cooking fluids – like hot oil.
Types of Burns
Once the cause is identified, the next step is to identify how deeply the skin has been burnt. There are basically three broad categories of burns. The cause and type together determines the healing process and the time required to heal the injury.
- First Degree Burns: These burns are mild and can be treated at home.
Signs: Minor Swelling, redness, burning sensation and no blister.
Healing time: 3 to 6 days.
- Second Degree Burns: These burns are serious and damage the top layer of the skin.
Signs: Blister, redness, and severe pain. The affected skin is moist.
Healing time: 2 to 3 weeks
- Third Degree Burns: It the most serious type of burn and needs immediate medical attention.
Signs: The affected skin becomes very dry and the skin color may become brownish. No pain is experienced as the skin becomes numb.
Healing time: It depends on the severity of the burn.
First Aid Treatment
If someone has relieved the burn, first aid can help to reduce the severity of the burn.
- Immediately place the burnt area under the running cool water for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Lightly pat dry the affected area with a clean towel.
- Apply aloe vera gel over the affected area.
- Cover the burn with a clean dressing.
- Remove any jewelry or watch from the injured part.
- Do not use adhesive bandage for dressing.
- Do not apply oil, butter or ice over the burn.
- Do not apply any ointment or lotions.
- If any blister develops, do not break it.
“Prevention is better than cure”
- To prevent hot bath water burns, always set your water heater below 120 degree.
- To prevent kitchen accidents, always use sturdy cookware.
- Never leave children unattended.