Burn Prevention

BurnSeverity of Burns:

  • First Degree burns are mild and usually heal quickly. These are burns that redden the skin and cause some soreness but they don't result in any serious damage.
  • Second Degree burns are far more serious. They cause severe pain and result in blistered skin. They require immediate first aid and then medical attention.
  • Third Degree burns are severe and require emergency medical attention. Tissue is white, brown or charred and often surrounded by blisters. There is little or no pain at first, but recovery can be extremely painful.

Kitchen Burn Hazards:

  • Turn pot handles in. It is too easy to bump into a handle that juts out from the stove and the hot contents could spill on you. Curious children will also try to grab a pot handle to see what is inside the pot.
  • Keep children and pets at least one metre (3 feet) from the stove when cooking.
  • To reduce the risk of your clothes catching fire, wear garments with tight fitting sleeves, or roll your sleeves up when cooking.
  • Oil and water truly do not mix. Do not throw wet or frozen food into hot grease or oil. This will cause the liquid to splatter which can cause severe burns.
  • Put a lid on it! If the contents of a pan or pot catches fire, use an appropriate lid to smother the flames. Never carry a blazing pan to the sink. The contents could spill and spread the fire around. Be aware that a portable fire extinguisher can also splatter flaming liquids, if used improperly.
  • Be very careful when removing lids from hot food. Steam burns more quickly than boiling water.

Don't Land In Hot Water

  • Adjust the thermostat on your hot water heater to medium or below 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). When running a bath, put the cold water in first, then add hot water.

Keep Kids Safe:

  • Teach children that appliances which create heat are unsafe for them to touch. That goes for kettles, toasters, irons, coffee makers, space heaters, light bulbs, radiators and more.
  • Never leave matches and lighters out and available to children. They are almost certain to try to see how they work. It is best to hide matches and lighters away and lock them up when they're not being used.
  • Install safety covers on unused electrical outlets. This will prevent small children from sticking something made out of metal into them.
  • In the event of fire, get children and everyone else in the house outside immediately...and keep them out.

First Aid:

  • Cool a burn with cool water. This prevents the burn from spreading and provides relief for the pain. Run the water for 10 to 15 minutes over the burned area.
  • Never use ice as it can cause further damage to the burned tissue.
  • Third degree burns can be cooled using wet sterile dressings.
  • Do not use anything greasy to treat a burn. It has been proven that butter or ointment keeps heat in, worsening the burn.
  • Don't break blisters. If germs get into the wound, infection can set in.
  • Cover the burn after cooling it down. Apply a clean, dry dressing to the injury.
  • Remove any burned clothing that isn't stuck to the victim's skin.
  • Remove jewellery or tight clothing from the vicinity of the wound before swelling sets in.
  • Keep the victim's body temperature stable to prevent shock. Use a dry blanket to cover unburned areas.