Burns and scalds
Appropriate first aid must be used to treat any burns or scalds as soon as possible. This will limit the amount of damage to your skin.
This is a general instruction, for more specific cases see:
First aid for burns
Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water, or smothering flames with a blanket. Do not put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well.
Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin, including babies' nappies. But do not try to remove anything that's stuck to the burnt skin, as this could cause more damage.
Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes as soon as possible after the injury. Never use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances like butter.
Keep yourself or the person warm. Use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area. Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, where a person's body temperature drops below 35C (95F). This is a risk if you're cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people.
Cover the burn with cling film. Lay the cling film over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean, clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always check the manufacturer's instructions when using over-the-counter medication. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.
Raise the affected area, if possible. This will help to reduce swelling.
If you are not sure if medical help is needed or what to do next, call 112 / 911 / 999 (or another number for a country you're in).
When to go to hospital
Once you have taken these 👆 steps, you'll need to decide whether further medical treatment is necessary.
Go to a emergency in case of:
large burns bigger than the size of the affected person's hand
deep burns of any size that cause white or charred skin
burns on the face, neck, hands, feet, any joints, or genitals
all chemical and electrical burns
any other injuries that need treating
any signs of shock – symptoms include cold, clammy skin, sweating, rapid, shallow breathing, and weakness or dizziness
You should also go to hospital if you or the person who has been burned:
is under the age of 10
has a medical condition, such as heart, lung or liver disease, or diabetes
has a weakened immune system (the body's defence system) – for example, because of HIV or AIDS, or because they're having chemotherapy for cancer
If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also get medical attention at hospital.
Some symptoms may be delayed, and can include:
a sore throat
singed nasal hair
You should also go to Emergency if you have been injured intentionally, or think someone has been injured intentionally.