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When it comes to First Aid, most parent's reaction is to think that the accident won't happen to them. We are careful not to leave an iron on an ironing board, and we would never allow a child close to anything too hot. But the stark fact remains that accidents do happen, no matter how careful you think you are or how safe you believe your house is. Hot coffee may be on the table, water from the hot tap gets very hot, chemicals are in the cupboard. And children are naturally inquisitive.
Here are a few pointers when it comes to burns.
Hot Water Burns and scalds
If your child suffers from a hot water burn, perhaps from a cup of tea or the hot water tap, the first thing to do is to carefully remove any clothing that can be removed easily. Clothing retains heat, so this is why it is best to remove them. If they are already stuck to the skin, or are tight fitting, then leave them as you could damage the skin underneath. Put the burned area under cool (but not cold) running water for at least 20 or 30 minutes. If the burn is still burning after this time continue the water treatment. DO NOT under any circumstances put anything on the burn - no ointments, cream or flour (an old wives tale!).
Give some pain relief such as Calpol because burns do hurt. Once the burning stops do not allow the child to get cold. Cover the burn with cling film as this doesn't stick to the skin, and put fresh clothes back on. Be careful of ice packs as these can burn the skin too. Go to A&E for further help.
Firstly, make sure it is safe to approach and that the current is no longer live. Do not put yourself in danger. There may only be a small entry wound, but go to hospital directly.
It it vital to wash away any chemicals by washing with cool water. Ensure you are protected too if you are helping. Once washed, cover with clean dry dressing - a clean (boil washed) tea towel is a good option.
Take care and always seek medical advice if need any assistance.
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