DIY First Aid - burns

3: Fire hugging

Get the person out of the fire.

If clothes are on fire, put them out. Lay the person down with burning side uppermost, if there's water available use it to put the flames out, if there isn't any you'll have to smother the flames. To do this, you have to wrap the person in something to stop the supply of air to the fire, something like a rug is good for this, simply wrap it around the person but don't use anything made of nylon (like a  sleeping bag) as this will make things a lot worse.

Burns need cooling down with water - loads of water. This takes the heat out of the burn and limits the damage. If you can, submerge the burned area in cold water for at least 10 minutes or longer. Otherwise, just pour cold water over the burned area. Do this as soon as you can.

The injured part will swell, so loosen anything like wrist bands, ties or such which would get tight as the wound swells.

After cooling, gently remove clothing from the damaged area, unless its sticking to the burn in which case, leave it alone.

Don't put anything on the burn (ointments etc.) and, unless there's broken skin don't cover it. If there is broken skin, cover it lightly with clean  cloth - preferably sterile dressing if you have it.

Don't use adhesive dressings of any kind (band-aid etc.)

If the burn causes a blister bigger than the size of a hand, when it was caused by electricity or when its a very deep burn, cover the burn with clean material (pref. sterile dressing) and get the casualty to hospital.

It's OK to move a burns casualty, but a badly burned arm or leg should be immobilised if possible - tie legs together or strap an arm to the body - but never tie anything over a burn of course.

Get help.

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