First Aid Guidelines
Burns and Scalds
- Immediately put the burn or scald under running cold water to reduce the heat in the skin. This should be done for at least 10 minutes. Immerse the burn or scald in cold water if running water is not available.
- Cover the burn or scald with a clean, non fluffy cloth, perhaps a linen tea-towel. This will help prevent infection.
- If clothes are stuck to the skin, do not try to remove them.
- Call an ambulance or take the patient to hospital. You should take a child to hospital for anything other than a very small scald or burn.
Do not but butter, oil or any kind of ointment on to a burn or scald. It only has to be cleaned again before treatment can be given.
- Do not waste valuable time attempting to removed the object with your fingers, it will probably be too slippery and too far back.
- For small children and babies, quickly turn them upside down, holding them by the legs firmly. Slap their back firmly between the shoulder blades. If this doesnt work and the object do not come out, do it again.
- If after several tries this has not worked, place 2 fingers on the lower half of the breastbone and press down sharply 5 times. If the obstruction has still not cleared, repeat the process and call an ambulance.
- For larger children, bend the child over the back of an arm chair or settee and give a good thump on the back, again, between the shoulder blades. If after several tries this has not worked, squeeze the stomach sharply by giving a quick, hard hug from behind. This can also be used for adults.
Additional information including courses and books are available from the British Red Cross. Contact your local office.
- Press firmly on the wound using a clean dry cloth or your fingers, until the bleeding stops. This make take 10 minutes if not more.
- Do not use a tourniquet or anything that may stop the circulation.
- If at all possible raise the injured limb. This will help to stop the bleeding. Do not do this if you think the limb may be broken.
- Cover the wound with a clean dry dressing if you have one. If you do not, do not cover the wound.
- Call an ambulance or take the patient to hospital.
- Ask your doctor about a tetanus injection.
Do not give the patient anything to eat or drink after an accident if you think an anaesthetic may be needed later.
Back to Top