What to do in an emergency
If you or a loved one has experienced a burn, the most important thing to do is not to panic.
- Assess the burn. Is it large or small? Is it blistering? Are you in terrible pain?
- If the burn is small, you should rinse the burn in cool water. If the burn is large, you should be evaluated by a burn care specialist at The Burn Center at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Some general rules for burn care:
- Small burns may be rinsed in cool water to decrease the pain, but large burns submerged in cool water can cause hypothermia (low body temperature).
- Remove rings, jewelry or tight clothing before swelling develops.
- Do not burst blisters or attempt to remove blisters.
- Cover the burn area with a clean or sterile dry cloth or bandage.
- All second and third degree burns to the face, hands, or feet, or burns caused by electricity or chemicals should be evaluated at The Burn Center.
- All burns covering a large body surface area are an emergency and should be transported to The Burn Center.