Winter chills bring increased burns injuries
St John Ambulance WA (SJAWA) encourages people to take precautions to minimise the chance of fire in the home but to also understand some simple first aid rules for treating burns.
The recent cold snap serves as a reminder that burns are the most common injury during winter as we turn to heaters, fireplaces, and electric blankets to stay warm.
St John Ambulance WA (SJAWA) encourages people to take precautions to minimise the chance of fire in the home but to also understand some simple first aid rules for treating burns. SJAWA First Aid Services Manager Sasha Hilton said the advice on first aid treatment of burns had recently changed, with the main point to cool the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes. Ms Hilton said research showed that 82 per cent of respondents knew to cool a burn with water but only 9 per cent reported to cool it for 20 minutes:
“Previous St John Ambulance protocol had different times for different burns but this new advice is simpler and easier to understand,” she said. “Burn injury is one of the top three causes of accidental death in children under five years of age and one of the three most common injuries suffered by an Australian each year.”
SJAWA suggests people follow these rules for management of burns:
- Cool the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes - this will stop the burning process and also help ease the pain.
- Lotions, ointments and ice can cause further damage to the skin and should NOT be used.
- Remove any clothing and jewellery from the affected area to allow effective cooling of the burn.
- Cover the burn with a non-adherent burns dressing, clean dressing, plastic wrap or loosely applied aluminium foil.
- Seek medical advice if the burn is larger than a 20 cent piece or on the face, hands, feet or groin area.
SJAWA recommends that every person takes the time to learn first aid. For more information, call (08) 9334 1233.