Updated: 5 days ago
The National Burns Awareness Month (1-30 June) aims to drive greater awareness amongst the Australian community of burns prevention and the correct first aid treatment for burns.
First aid for burns
If you have a burn or a scald, you can:
make sure you are safe
put the burnt area under cool running water for at least 20 minutes, but don’t use ice
use a hydrogel for first aid if water is not available
remove any clothing near the burn that is not stuck to itremove any jewellery near the burn if that is easy to do
take painkillers like paracetamol and anti-inflammatory tablets.
If it's a chemical burn, take off any contaminated clothing. For dry chemicals, brush off the chemicals before putting the burnt area under water.
If the burn is to your arm or leg, raise it whenever possible to reduce swelling.
Some things to avoid:
don’t put a child with burns into a bath full of cold water
if blisters develop don’t pop them, and visit your doctor in case they need to be removed
don’t use any ointments or creams on a burn. They seal heat in and cause more damage.
Most small burns will heal themselves in 10-12 days. If the burn does not have any blisters or broken skin, such as sunburn, a simple moisturiser such as sorbolene is the best treatment.
For all other burns seek medical treatment for appropriate dressings.
If things get worse, or if you are not up to date with tetanus injections, see your doctor.
If you need urgent treatment call triple zero (000) or, if safe to do so, go to the nearest emergency department.