Whether you are attending a public fireworks display or hosting your own at home with the family, it’s always best to be prepared!!!!
Burns and Scalds are damage to the skin caused by heat and are treated in the same way. A burn is caused by dry heat ie: an iron or fire. A scald is caused by something wet, such as hot water or steam. Burns can also be caused by chemicals, ice, electricity and the sun. They can be very painful and can cause blisters and charred, black or red skin.
- Every 1.5 minutes someone in the UK is burnt or scalded in an accident at home
- 112,000 people visit hospital each year with the effects of burns and scalds incurred in the home
- 45% of all casualties are children under the age of 4 years old
- Sparklers get five times hotter than cooking oil.
- A rocket can reach speeds of 150mph.
- A firework shell can reach as high as 200m.
- Three sparklers burning together generate the same heat as a blowtorch.
- The majority of firework-related injuries happen at family or private parties.
- The most common injuries are to hands, followed by the eyes and face.
Depth of Burns
There are 3 different depths of burns:
Superficial Burns are red, sore and tender.
Partial-Thickness Burns are similar to Superficial burns but with the appearance of blisters.
Full-Thickness Burns have burnt through layers of skin, tissue and nerves and will be black and charred.
Treating burns and scalds
- Immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning
- Cool the burn with cool water for 10 to 30 minutes – do not use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances such as butter
- Remove any clothing or jewellery that is near the burnt area of skin, but do not move anything that is stuck to the skin
- Keep the casualty warm as they could go into shock
- Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it
The British Red Cross website has a video about first aid for burns.
When to get medical attention
Depending on how serious a burn is, it may be possible to treat it at home. For minor burns, keep the burn clean and do not burst any blisters that form. More serious burns will require professional medical attention. You should go to a hospital A&E department for:
- all chemical and electrical burns
- large or deep burns – any burn bigger than the palm of your hand
- full thickness burns of all sizes – these burns cause white or charred skin
- partial thickness burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals – these are burns that cause blisters
People who are at greater risk from the effects of burns, such as children under five years old, the elderly and pregnant women, should also get medical attention after a burn or scald. The size and depth of the burn will be assessed and the affected area cleaned before a dressing is applied. In severe cases, skin graft surgery may be recommended.
Preventing burns and scalds
Many severe burns and scalds affect babies and young children. Examples of things you can do to help reduce the chances of your child having a serious accident at home include:
- Keeping your child out of the kitchen whenever possible
- Testing the temperature of bath water using your elbow before you put your child in the bath
- Keeping matches, lighters and lit candles out of young children’s sight and reach
- Keeping hot drinks well away from young children (a hot drink can still burn a very young child 15 minutes after it has been made)