Burns caused by exposure to boiling water can cause damage to the affected part just like with other types of burns. By understanding the different types and degrees of burns, you will know the appropriate first aid measures to provide. Always remember that knowing how to treat burns is vital since they commonly occur. This is why enrolling in a first aid course is definitely worth it.
Burn treatment basics
When treating burns, being familiar with the basics can help out a lot since you are prepared to perform the appropriate measures to provide relief.
Determine the type of burn sustained
There are three degrees of burns – first degree, second degree and third degree. For the first degree cases, only the exterior layer of the skin is affected, causing it to turn red in color and slightly swollen and there is pain. Second degree burns occur when the second skin layer is involved. These burns can cause a lot of pain accompanied by blisters and swelling. As for third degree cases, it involves all the layers of the skin. This burn can cause permanent tissue damage to the fats, muscles and even bones. It is important to call for emergency assistance for this type of burn.
Always bear in mind that the degree of a particular burn is not the only vital factor. If a first degree burn covers large areas of a major joint, feet, face, hands, buttock or groin, it is considered as a major burn. In case a second degree burn covers an area 3 inches or more in size, it is also considered major burn. All cases of third degree burns are considered as major burns.
First aid care for burns caused by boiling water
For minor burns, you have to place the affected area under cool running water. For first degree burns, place under running water for 5 minutes or until the pain subsides. As for second degree burns, continue to run water for 15 minutes or longer. In case the burn occurred in parts of the body that is difficulty to hold under a sink, you have to use a washcloth immersed in ice water and then apply on the affected area. Do not use ice directly on the skin since it can cause frostbite.
Use a burn ointment or gel over the burn. Topical burn gels are specifically designed to prevent infection as well as relieve pain. Do not use other ointments, oil or butter on the burn.
Cover the burned area in a loose manner using sterile gauze. For a second degree burn, avoid breaking the blisters since it will only increase the risk for infection. You can provide over-the-counter medications for pain such as acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen to minimize the swelling and pain.
What to do for severe burns
The first task is to call for emergency assistance right away. Do not attempt to remove the burned clothing, run over cool water or apply oil-based ointments and creams on large burns since the healing will be hampered.
Cover the affected area using sterile moist bandages, sheets or towels. As for burned toes or fingers, separate and cover them using sterile gauze. Elevate the affected part, especially the limbs. If the burn is on the neck, head or back, place the individual on his/her back and elevate the feet to prevent shock. Make sure that you will use a pillow beneath the head of the individual.