Burn Center - Burn Care
You've just been burned. Now what?
What does one do in the first few moments following a burn? What you do
can make a difference in the extent of the injury.
- Stop the Burning
- Remove the heat sources.
Stop, Drop and
Roll, if you come in contact with flames or if you are on fire.
Remove All Burnt Clothing
If clothing cannot be removed, douse the victim and clothing with cool
water to cool off the burn.
Cool Burned Areas With Cool Water
Never use ice on a burn wound. It interferes with circulation and may cause
more harm than good.
For chemical injuries, pour cool water over the burn site for at least
30 to 40 minutes.
Remove All Belts, Jewelry, and Tight Fitting Garments
The burned areas have a tendency to swell quickly. Remove these items early
to prevent circulation loss possible and damage to the body. There's
a chance that items such as wedding bands may have to be cut off later
after swelling has occurred.
Do Not Apply Anything to the Wound
Wounds need to be examined by a healthcare professional so it is best that
they are left uncovered by creams and ointments you apply. Also, creams
you apply without a doctor's prescription can do more harm than good.
Cover burns with a soft, clean, dry dressing or sheet
Cover the patient to keep them warm
Seek medical attention as soon as possible
This is especially true for wounds that are not healing, smell bad, or
appear weepy or blistery.
4 Basic Steps
- Remove clothing from the affected area. Do not remove clothing that sticks.
- Flush the burned area with cool water.
- Cover with a sterile pad or a clean cloth or sheet.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
For Electrical Injuries
If someone is electrocuted,
DO NOT TOUCH THE PERSON. You could injure yourself. Instead, disconnect the power source. Call 911.
It may be necessary to start CPR. Don't attempt to move the person
because there may be other injuries. Follow the four basic steps listed above.
For Chemical Burns
Follow the four basic steps and be sure to flush with cool water for a
couple of hours. If the eyes are affected, flush until medical attention arrives.
Protecting Babies, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers
Hot liquids cause most of the in-the-home burn injuries in children. Rooms
that pose the greatest risk are the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom.
Liquids can be bad news for youngters. For kid safe cooking:
Keep little hands away from hot liquids and foods.
Never leave hot liquids unattended.
Keep kids completely away from the stove.
Keep a hands-off policy. Avoid holding a small child when you, yourself,
are eating or drinking something hot.
Spills happen easily and even the tiniest of tots can knock a hot drink
onto themselves. Remember, it doesn't take much liquid to burn a considerable
area of a child's body.
Turn pot handles inward and keep small appliances out of reach.
Never use the microwave to heat baby bottles or baby food. Microwaves heat unevenly.
How's the Water?
Water safety can be built in by setting water heaters at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bath water for a child should be 90-100 degrees.
Bath time is a good time for bonding. It is also a time when children should
never be left unattended.
Keep bathroom electrical items unplugged so they can never be picked up
and dropped into the tub or sink by another child.
Never Let Safety Sleep
Keep cribs and children's beds away from lamps that can be pulled or
Avoid the use of mist vaporizers. If left unattended in the nursery or
child's room, vaporizers can become very hot and cause a contact or
Never leave an infant on a mattress near any space heater or heating device.
Many devastating burn injuries are caused by young babies rolling into
the space heater and not being able to pull themselves away.
Never leave matches or lighters where small children may reach them. Even
toddlers are capable of starting fires or burning themselves.
Never leave children unsupervised. They are so quick that in an instant
their young lives, and yours could be changed forever.
Protecting School-Aged Children (5 – 12)
Follow the safety steps advised for the protection of younger children.
An attentive parent advising a child at home during play can help develop
safe living habits.
Talk is Not Cheap
In addition to following the safety steps advised for the protection of
your younger children, talk to your school-age youngsters about the risks
related to matches and flammable liquids. These discussions provide valuable
protection by instilling safe behaviors.
Stop, Drop and Roll
Demonstrate to school-age children how to use
"Stop, Drop and Roll" techniques if they are on fire.
Give a lesson about
"power play," instructing children to stay away from power poles, train tracks, and
electrical lines. Discourage children from playing on or near above-ground
Go Fly a Kite
Teach children not to let kites make contact with electrical lines. Teach
them that this may be life threatening. If a kite does get caught in a
power line, instruct children not to try to retrieve the kite, but to
tell you so that you can call the local power company for assistance.
Teenagers (13 -19)
New interests and peer pressure can impose increased risks.
Working on a car can be gratifying, but keep in mind some safety tips.
Never open radiator caps after the car has been running.
Never pour gasoline on any engine parts.
cool tan doesn't mean over exposing yourself to the sun. Protect yourself
from overdoing it. Sun causes photo aging, so going easy now will keep
your more wrinkle free later on in life.
Fresh air is the rule of thumb. Use paints and glues in well ventilated
areas. Vapors can ignite. Never ignite the contents of aerosol cans.
Where There is Smoke…
Use caution when smoking.
Never smoke in bed. Always dispose of cigarettes and other smoking material in appropriate
When It's hot…
Use oven mitts when handling hot foods and drinks. Carry only what you
can safely handle.
Advanced Burn Life Support
Advanced Burn Life Support is an eight hour course designed to give healthcare
professional clinical how to information on the treatment and management
of burn victims in the first 24 hours post burn injury. The course, much
like the clinical approach in the Burn Center, focuses on a multi-disciplinary
group of healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, therapists,
paramedics, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. The course
is offered quarterly at Staten Island University Hospital’s Regina
McGinn Education Center. And to date has trained physicians, nurses, physician
assistant, paramedics, flight crew personnel, and members of the armed forces.