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Burn Injuries: Treatment and Prevention

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

Burn injuries are a common trauma that can affect anyone, anytime and anywhere. These injuries can be caused by friction, cold, heat, radiation, chemical or electric sources, but the majority of burn injuries are caused by heat from hot liquids, solids or fire.

Immediate Treatment of First-Degree Burns

For immediate treatment of first-degree burns at home, place the wound under cold water for 10-15 minutes. Cold water helps to ease the pain and reduce the amount of damage. If after 10-15 minutes the burn blisters or chars, see a doctor immediately. For further treatment, contact a doctor.

Immediate Treatment of Second- and Third-Degree Burns

For immediate treatment of second-degree burns at home, wrap the affected area in a moist dressing, sterile if available. Then call 9-1-1 immediately. These types of burns leave the body prone to infection since the skin is burned away.

Stopping the Burning Process

If your clothes are on fire: Stop, Drop, and Roll. Be sure you have completely smothered the fire out before stopping. This method is now referred to as Stop, Drop, and Rock because rolling over and over is not necessarily safe in many locations and may fan the flames. Instead, you just need to rock back in forth so that your body does one complete roll. While you stop, drop, and rock, be sure to cover your face with your hands.

Once your clothes have stopped burning, remove the burned clothing immediately. You want to remove the heat from your body as quickly as possible to prevent further injury. Remove all jewelry, belts, and tight clothing from the burned area immediately before swelling of the burned area occurs. Make sure you treat the wound as soon as possible.


Electricity is Dangerous

If you are assisting a victim who has been electrocuted, dial 9-1-1 immediately. Before you approach the victim, make sure he/she is no longer in contact with the source of electricity. If the victim is still in contact with the source of electricity, you should keep back and wait for help to arrive.



The materials presented in this website are distributed by the Hillcrest Fire Company No. 1, its members and officers, as well as the Moleston Fire District and its Commissioners as an informational source only. The information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the topics discussed. Although every possible discretion is used to ensure the general suitability of this information, all readers are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements, and information for their accuracy. The Hillcrest Fire Company No. 1, its members and officers, as well as the Moleston Fire District and its Commissioners shall not be held liable to any persons for the information or advice provided in this web site or incorporated into it by reference or for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon the material contained in this website.


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