Tag Archive | "burns"

A First Aid Guide for Burns

It is very attractive to look at, the glowing bouts of flame that seems to dance and sway with its vibrant colours of red and orange. Fire is one of nature’s gifts to mankind to keep us warm and cook our food but it can also be a traitor and burn everything we own and even take the lives of the people we love. That is why it is of utmost importance that we teach our kids fire preventions and safety.

Children can be clumsy most of the time and they can easily get near a hot pot or a hot stove and can get their skin burned. As parents we need to promote safety and keep our children away from fire or any hot surfaces to keep them from being burned. Stoves should have a guard on it to prevent kids from getting near it. Fireplaces should also have a fence around it to ward off toddlers and babies in the living room. Keep kettles and pots out of reach from children and always iron clothes without the presence of your children in the room. Sometime even with all the safety precautions we take accidents happen and children and adults alike can get easily burned. Knowing how to administer first aid for burns will help a lot in preventing further injury and promote healing of the burned tissue.

We can distinguish the severity of burns by following these classifications. Treatment will also depend on the extent of the burn injury therefore it is good to know the following information.

First Degree Burns

There are burns on that involves the outer layer of the skin thus is classified as the less serious type of burns. It is still painful as the nerve endings are abundant in the epidermal layer of our skin. It occurs with redness, swelling and tenderness of the affected area.

Second Degree Burns

This involves the second layer of the skin called the dermis. The outer layer called epidermis is burnt all they way through and there are presence of blisters along with redness, swelling and a splotchy appearance. There is intense pain felt in this type of burn.

Third Degree burns

A very serious type of burn as it involves all skin layers and there may be some tissue damage as well. Its appearance may be blackened or can appear as greyish in color. Fluid imbalance and carbon monoxide poisoning are some of the health risks involved in third degree burns.

Burns are treated depending on its type. For minor burns such as those first degree types and those of second degree with no larger area damage of 3 inches one should perform the following steps.

  • Put the burned area under running water. Don’t pour cold water to the burned area in an attempt to cool the burn; the cold temperature will only cause further damage to the affected skin and tissues. Hold the affected area under running water for about 10 to 15 minutes to stop the burning process and provide relief of pain.
  • Cover the affected area with gauze or bandage. This will keep the area dry and protected from harmful bacteria. Try to wrap the burned area loosely to avoid restricting the blood flow in the area.
  • Avoid putting ice or any substances to the affected area like oils and butter as these may contaminate the wound and lead to an infection. Avoid popping any blisters as it may become an open wound which increases the risk of infection.

For severe types of burns that involve third degree burns it is highly advisable to take the person in the emergency room immediately. If you are in a field or remote area call for help immediately and while waiting for medical assistance try to elevate the burnt area or cover it with moist sterile cloth or towel. Make sure to remove the person from the burning equipment and remove clothes that are burning to prevent more damage. Do not attempt to pour water or immerse the burnt area in water as this may cause hypothermia or sudden drop of body temperature.

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How to Keep Your Kids Safe from Burns

As parents we always make it our best interest to keep our kids safe from harm. We are very attentive on the things, our children encounter on a day to day basis. We always keep a watchful eye on what’s safe and what’s not. As much as possible, we want them not to experience any form of pain or discomfort, we’d rather experience them ourselves, instead of our children. In the type of world we live in right now, anything can pose a threat or danger to our kids. Even some places in our own homes can become hazardous, if we leave them unattended. Among these threats, burns can be considered one of the most common.

In children, toddlers and pre-schoolers under the age of 4 are the most common victims of burns and scalding injuries. This injury can cause physical deformity, irreversible physiologic damage, emotional distress and even death, if left untreated.  How then can we keep our kids safe from burns? It is important to note, that burns is one the most preventable forms of injury. Common sources would include household appliances, electricity, sun exposure, lightning, hazardous chemicals and hot liquids. Keeping our kids away from the source is the best intervention to prevent burns. If in case contact with such things cannot be avoided, preventive measures should be done. Inside the house, parents must make sure that every appliance and area is child-proof. For people with a hot water heater, the temperature should be maintained to not more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent scalding, if in case it comes in contact with the child.  Inside the kitchen, hot coffee pots and hot counter tops should be placed in areas, which is difficult for children to reach.  Chemicals and hot liquids should be kept safely in storage containers that are not accessible to children. Electrical outlets must be covered and cords must be out of reach to prevent electrical burns. When going outside, under the heat of the sun, the child must wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15 as well as any form of protective garments such as caps and sun glasses that will limit his exposure to the sun. If living in a lightning prone area, always stay indoors, when outside avoid contact with metal objects and bodies of water,  immediately seek a safe shelter like a thick dense of trees.  Parents can also install fire alarms and smoke detectors for additional safety, these alarms should be checked regularly to ensure their working condition. Flammable objects like matches, gas lamps, fire cracker and lighters should be kept in safe storage areas. Teaching kids about fire safety is also very essential; children need to know how to escape the house if in case it burns down, they should also know that playing with fire is very dangerous.

Ensuring the child’s safety and security is every parent’s first priority. With these preventive measures, parents will be able to protect their children from any burns or scalding injury.

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Common Child Health Emergencies and How to Deal with Them

It is every parent’s worst nightmare to see their child in pain, all the more if he’s in an emergency situation. Emergencies almost always come as a surprise, it happens when we least expect it to. Immediate intervention must be done in times like this, since most emergencies are life threatening.  Parents and care takers must always be prepared for emergency situations that may happen, they should know how to cope and act accordingly. They must be quick on their knees and be panic-free the whole time.  The main goal should always be the safety of the child.

Emergencies can be classified as life-threatening and non- life-threatening.  A life-threatening emergency is the type when the victim needs resuscitation. Conditions under this category include breathing problems, active bleeding, on-going seizure, severe choking, and permanent loss of consciousness (coma). In dealing with life-threatening emergencies, the most important intervention that needs to be done first is to contact the rescue squad or ambulance. The rescue team is composed of professionals and paramedics trained in basic life support and cardio pulmonary resuscitation.  They will be able to stabilize the patient’s condition before reaching the nearest medical facility. While waiting for the paramedics to arrive in the scene, the parents and care takers can also do certain first aid measures to rescue the victim. For children who have breathing difficulties, the rescuer can check the airway and ensure that nothing’s blocking the air passage. If there’s an obstruction in the mouth such as choking, they can use their fingers to sweep it out or even gently pat the back to dislodge the item. If the person is trained and if needed, CPR can be performed. In the event of external active bleeding, applying direct pressure to the site will help stop the bleeding. Elevating the site also prevents further blood loss. When the child has an on-going seizure, head-injury should be prevented, to do this, let the child lie flat on the ground free from any hazardous and constricting objects.

Non-life -threatening emergencies are those that need immediate medical attention but don’t require resuscitation. Children in this type of emergency are stable and the threat to their lives is less severe. Conditions that can be classified under this category are poisoning, burns, pain, inactive bleeding and temporary loss of consciousness. The first thing parents and care takers need to do is to bring their children to the nearest medical facility or to their pediatrician. These people can diagnose the condition properly and instruct the appropriate medical intervention. First aid for poisoning depends on the substance induced; milk or activated charcoal can be given to remove the toxins from the child’s body. For burns depending on the degree, it can be treated with burns ointments or burn wraps. For pain and inactive bleeding, assessment is key, the care taker should note the location, characteristic, onset, and duration of pain.

As what scouts always say, BE PREPARED, emergency situations should always be associated with those words. Being prepared and acting on time is essential in resolving such crisis.

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