Sunday, July 5, 2009

How to Treat a Fireworks Burn

Learn how to help when Fourth of July fun suddenly turns into disaster with a fireworks burn. These burns usually occur on the head, face and hands, but can also involve the soles of bare feet. Typically, the burns fall into the first or second-degree categories. Treat minor burns successfully with first aid at home, but second-degree burns need medical attention.

First Degree or Minor Fireworks Burns
1. Hold burned area under cold running water to reduce the heat level. This also helps clean the wound.
2. Dry the burned area with clean dry cloth.
3. Apply a topical anesthetic burn spray or use aloe vera lotion or cream to moisturize the burned area.
4. Administer an analgesic like acetaminophen or aspirin as needed.

Second Degree or More Serious Fireworks Burns
1. Extinguish any fire on clothing or in the hair by smothering with a blanket or having the victim roll on the ground.
2. Immerse affected areas of skin in clean, cold water while arranging medical attention.
3. Dry the wounds gently with clean cloth and apply an antiseptic cream or an inert hydro gel product.
4. Wrap wounds in clean soft cloth such as towels, sheets or gauze.
5. Keep affected areas elevated and move the victim to a hospital or other medical treatment facility.

Tips & Warnings
1. Watch for shock symptoms in serious burn victims.
2. Don't place the fireworks burn victim in a tub or pool of cold water. Use cold compresses instead. Immersing the whole body causes core body temperatures to drop dangerously.
3. Take care not to rupture blisters caused by burns unless they are infected.

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