STOP the burning process: Remove person/s from the source of the burn, once safe to do so Extinguish burning clothing using water or the ‘Stop, Drop and Roll’ method STOP where you are DROP to the ground and cover your eyes and mouth with your hands ROLL over and back and forth until the flames are out Isolate electrical power sources, if safe to do so before attempting rescue Avoid chemical cross-contamination
REMOVE clothing and jewellery: Remove any burned/contaminated/damp/constricting clothing, if able to do so
Remove any nappies, jewellery and contact lenses near burned area, if able to do so
Leave any molten/adherent clothing
COOL the burn with cool running water:
Cool the burn immediately with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 minutes and within 3 hours of injury
If water supply limited, apply a cool water compress using any clean wetted lint free cloth
Change compress frequently over 20-minute period
WARM the patient
Keep the patient, especially children, as warm as possible during cooling: ‘cool the burn but warm the patient’.
COVER the wound:
Cover the cooled burn with strips of cling film or any clean lint free cloth or non-adherent dressing
Do not wrap cling film around limbs or other burned areas
Do not apply cling film to facial burns
Cover irrigated and fully decontaminated chemical injuries with a wet compress
Extract fromBritish Burn Association First Aid Clinical Practice Guidelines Compiled by: Kristina Stiles and Nicholas Goodwin, April 2018
There is variation in the information found on the internet for the first aid treatment of burns and scalds. The British Burn Association (BBA) is a non-profit making organisation whose membership is made up of those who have dedicated their lives to delivering the best treatment and rehabilitation following a burn injury. The BBA’s First Aid Guidelines is one we trust and have listed the steps for First aid treatment of burns above for your information. The full BBA Statement including first aid for chemical, electrical, tar and bitumen burns, as well as cold burns (frostbite) can be found here.
The NHS guidance for treatment of Burns and Scalds is also one we trust and includes information to help you decide if you should go to hospital. NHS treatment of burns and scalds can be found here.