First Aid

Burn Injury

Contact with any source of heat can cause a burn or scald injury. 

Clothing over the area may retain the heat and cause further injury.

Symptoms and signs 

  • Severe pain
  • Red, peeling or blistered skin or blackened if caused by electricity
  • Watery fluid weeping from the injury
  • Patient may be pale, cold and sweaty, feeling unconsciousness, and complaining of sickness or vomiting
  • Swelling of the injured area may appear later

First aid

  • Separate heat source from the person.
  • Cool the injured area Immediately cool the affected area for 20 minutes or first aid burn gel may be used in place of water. 
  • If any clothing is wet with hot liquid or affected by a chemical splash, remove it quickly and carefully.
  • Separate all accessories.
  • Position patient if the patient is feeling faint lay them down.


  • Do not use ice. Putting ice directly on a burn can cause a person's body to become too cold and cause further damage to the wound.
  • Do not break blisters. Broken blisters are more vulnerable to infection.
  • Do not try to remove any fabric that is stuck to a burn.
  • Do not apply creams, ointments, lotions or butter to any burn injury because infection may occur and complicate the injury.
  • Do not place small children or babies in a cold bath or shower for a full 20 minutes, as this can cause hypothermia.
  • Remember that any substance applied to a burn injury may have to be removed later in hospital.
Heat stroke

Heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia in which the body temperature is elevated dramatically.
Victims of heat stroke must receive immediate treatment to avoid permanent organ damage. First and foremost, cool the victim.
  • Get the victim to a shady area, remove clothing, and apply cool or tepid water to the skin (for example, you may spray the person with cool water from a garden hose), fan the victim to promote sweating and evaporation, and place ice packs under the armpits and groin.
  • If the person is able to drink liquids, have them drink cool water or other cool beverages that do not contain alcohol or caffeine.
  • Monitor body temperature with a thermometer and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101 to 102 F (38.3 to 38.8 C).
  • Always notify emergency services (911) immediately. If their arrival is delayed, they can give you further instructions for treatment of the victim.

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