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Burns and Scalds

Burns are caused by contact with either flame, hot objects, chemicals, friction or radiation.

Scalds are caused by contact with boiling water or steam.

The results from either injury can be disfigurement, scarring and severe pain.

Burns may be:

  • Superficial
  • Red like sunburn
  • Be on the outer layer of the skin

Partial Thickness

  • Blistering with damage to deeper layers of the skin

Full Thickness

  • Whitish, or blackened areas with damage to all areas of the skin


  • Cool burns by flushing with cool running water
  • Remove rings and jewellery
  • Cover the burns with a sterile non-stick dressing
  • Reassure the casualty

Do Not...

  • Apply ice directly to a burn
  • Remove any clothing that is stuck to a burned area
  • Use any oil or ointments on burns
  • Use cotton wool on a burn

What should you do?

We all respond to emergencies in different ways.

Whether trained or untrained, some of us are afraid we will do the wrong thing and make the situation worse.

If you are unsure about what to do, call for an ambulance.

The worst thing to do is to do nothing.