4 Basic Tips On What To Do In Case Of Burns

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1. For superficial burns, apply half-and-half vinegar and water, a solution of two heaping teaspoonfuls of baking soda in a pint (450 c.c.) of water, or a rounded teaspoonful of common salt in a pint (450 c.c.) of water, in the form of wet dressings. Any soothing or protec­tive grease, such as petrolatum or 5 per cent csulfathiazole ointment, can be substituted; but it is best not to use grease of any kind if it is planned to have a phy­sician carry out future treatment.

2. For deep or extensive burns, put the patient to bed, removing clothing carefully from burned areas. If the clothing adheres to the skin, cut out the adherent portions and remove the rest of the clothing so the patient can be undressed. Do not tear the skin or other tissues. Do not let'the patient become chilled, because of the danger of shock. Send for a physician at once, if one is available. His services may be needed to save life.

3. After the burn, one of the greatest perils is infection. As soon as possible, and continuously until the physician arrives, cover the burned areas with sterile gauze, kept wet with a solution of baking soda or of common salt,

as described above in (1), to keep out dirt and to keep the gauze from sticking to the raw flesh. Never put absorbent cotton next to the skin as a dressing over a burned area. Before preparing and handling any dres­sing for a burn, be sure your hands are clean and, pre­ferably, rinsed in a lysol solution — a teaspoonful to the pint (450 c.c.) of water — dried on a clean towel.

4. The prevention of burns is obviously an important ob­jective. Since a burn may be fatal, crippling, or per­manently disfiguring, it is well to give attention to the following advice:

(a) If your clothing catches fire, lie down at once and smother the flames by rolling up in a blanket, rug, or overcoat, leaving the head uncovered, or, if such articles are not available, beat out the fire with your hands.

(b) If another person's clothing catches fire, see that he lies down immediately forcing him to do so if necessary — and help him to smother the flames as directed in the above paragraph.

(c) In getting out of a burning building, or in helping someone else get out, remember that the best air is likely to be 3 or 4 feet (about one meter) above floor level, that leaving doors and windows open will create drafts and make the fire burn more fiercely, and that the air on the other side of the door that feels hot to the hand may be so hot that it will be fatal to inhale it.

(d) Keep a fire extinguisher handy.

(e) Do not allow children to play near fires.

(f) Do not hang wet clothes to dry over a hot stove.

(g) Do not use inflammable cleaning fluids, especially in a closed room or near a fire.

(h) See that cigar or cigarette butts are disposed of safely.

(i) Do not try to extinguish an oil or grease fire with water. Use sand, salt or soda to smother it. (j) Do not pour kerosene into a stove to kindle a fire unless you know that no embers are in the stove.

(k) Take care that open-flame lights or candles have no inflammable drapery or other inflammable ma­terials near them. (1) Do not set a kettle of hot liquid near the edge
of a stove, table, or sink drainboard, where it may fall off or be pulled off easily.

(m) If tubs of hot water must be set on the floor,
keep children away from them.

(n) In serving cups of hot beverage, pass them between,
not over, those sitting at the table.

(o) Keep matches where children cannot get at them.

(p) Keep the electric cords to percolators, electric irons
or other hot appliances where no one can stumble
over or upset them.

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