Once the parties have been had and the sugar highs have subsided we have Guy Fawkes Night round the corner to celebrate with bonfire parties and fireworks display.
With such fun and excitement all around it's amazing there is more room for partying, but while these parties continue, there are a few safety issues that invariably do affect a proportion of people attending these parties / displays, and I will be looking in this post at how to manage burns.
Burns and scalds can occur anywhere on the body, and can vary in severity. Burns are caused by dry heat, and scalds are caused by a wet heat. They can be very painful leading to blistering, swelling and skin loss. Having said this, the most severe burns can actually be relatively painless.
While we once talked about first degree, second degree and third degree burns we now categorize them into:
- Superficial - affecting the epidermis
- Partial thickness, damaging the dermis
- Full thickness affecting all three layers of the skin including the cutis
If someone you know sustains a burn during bonfire night or a fireworks display there are a few things you need to do to minimise the damage which is sustained.
- Firstly you need to try and move the person away from the source of the heat.
- Next you need to cool it down for at last 10 minutes under cold running water if possible
- Remove clothing or jewellery which is near the burn, but nothing that is stuck to it.
- Cover it with clingfilm. This will stick to itself but not to the burn.
- Seek help if necessary
In some instances you will need to seek medical attention, and these are the type of burns that need treatment:
- large or deep burns – which are bigger than the affected person's hand
- burns of any size that cause white or charred skin
- burns which occur on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals that cause blisters
- all chemical and electrical burn
- In a child a burn that is greater than 1% of the surface area of the body needs to be taken for medical opinion. This equates to about the size of their hand.
Do not use anything like butter or toothpaste on a burn and avoid any antiseptic creams. If in doubt get it checked out
Fireworks night should be fun for everyone, so be sure to enjoy your night, keep safe and stay out of the Emergency Department