April 2016

Burn Prevention and Treatment

Burns can happen in an instant, and while some cannot be prevented, others can. There are many things we can do in our homes to keep ourselves and our families safe.

While cooking, turn handles in so that pans are not easily knocked off of stove tops. When cooking with oil, try using a splatter screen, and never introduce water into hot oil. Keep pots of boiling water on back burners, and when taking the pot off the stove, make sure nothing is underfoot like pets, children, or toys. According to WebMD, “Most burns that occur in children younger than age 5 are scald burns from hot liquids.”

Also, never leave candles unattended, or better yet, buy LED candles which now look almost like the real thing. Do not smoke in bed, and always have working smoke detectors.

When going out for long periods on a sunny day, always wear sunscreen. Not only will it protect you from painful sunburns, but it will also help prevent skin cancer.

There are varying degrees of burns. First degree, like a sunburn, generally get better on their own and don’t need much intervention. Second degree burns are deeper and more painful, and typically need medical care, especially if they are on the face, hands, feet, joints, groin or buttocks. Blisters and swelling may occur. Third degree burns, which are the deepest and may involve muscle and bone, are life threatening and demand immediate action.

Call 911, and if possible, get the person to a safe area. Check for breathing and a pulse and begin CPR if necessary. While waiting for help to arrive, try to remove anything restrictive such as rings and belts since burned areas tend to swell rather quickly. Avoid getting the person too wet which can lead to loss of body temperature and/or shock. Instead, cover the burn with a cool, moist cloth or bandage.

Not only can burns be difficult to treat, they can also be disfiguring. Protect yourself and others by taking some precautions.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green.

We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you. scotchplainsrescuesquad@gmail.com or call (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies.