From kids washing up under a too-hot faucet to an accidental tipping of a coffee cup, burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns, especially scalds from hot water and liquids, are some of the most common childhood accidents.

Thats why we decided to dedicate this month’s tip to burns.


There are several different types of burns:

  • Dry burn – contact with flames & hot objects
  • Scald – steam and hot liquids
  • Electrical burn – lightning strikes
  • Chemical burns – paint stripper, bleach
  • Radiation burns – sunburn
The severity of burns is classified into first, second and third degree.


First degree burns are the mildest form as they only involve the outer layer of the skin. They are also superficial burns. Characteristics include redness of the skin, mild swelling and pain.
Second degree burns or partial-thickness burns extend into the second layer of the skin. Blisters, swelling and more severe pain identify these burns. Once blisters break a weeping wound will result. Infections may be caused.
Third degree burns or full-thickness burns penetrate all skin layers, the under lying fat tissue, muscles, blood vessels and nerves. As nerves are damages the victim doesn’t feel pain
What are the dangers of burn injuries? ·
  • infection
  • shock due to fluid loss
  • airway obstruction due to swelling

Most burns are minor and don’t need medical attention. However if clothing is burning, have the casualty roll on the ground. Smother flames with a blanket or douse the casualty in water.

First Aid Tips:

  • Cool the area with running cold water for 10 minutes
  • If water is not available us other harmless fluids
  • Remove any constrictive jewellery or clothing before area will start to swell
  • If clothing is stuck to skin DO NOT remove
  • If burn is caused by chemical protect yourself. Be careful not to contaminate yourself or other areas of the casualty’s body.
  • Dress the burn with sterile dressing that won’t stick.
  • Tip – use cling film or new unused plastic bag. Don’t wrap too tight.
  • For large second degree and all third degree burns seek medical attention
  • Monitor breathing as swelling of the airways can occur up to 24 hours after the initial burn
  • Break any blisters. Intact blisters serve as an excellent burn dressing.
  • Touch the burn.
  • Apply lotions, ointments or fats.
  • Apply adhesive tape or dressings.
  • Remove clothing that has stuck to the burn

If you would like to like to read about our range of First Aid Courses in Dublin please click here.