Cleveland, OH

How to treat and prevent burns

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle

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CLEVELAND — Summer is here, and when you’re doing your outdoor activities under the sun, unfortunate injuries may occur, including burns.

Burns are skin injuries that heat, chemicals, or electricity can cause. Hot liquids from hot bath water, foods, and drinks are the most common cause of burns in children. During the summer, burns can also be caused by sun exposure, campfires, sparklers, and fireworks.

Symptoms from the burn may include pain, redness, swelling, blistering, or peeling of the skin. Sometimes, it could develop into breathing difficulty, decreased alertness or loss of consciousness, and signs of shock.

There are several types of burns, and their depth can classify burns on the skin.

The first-degree burns are limited only to the top layer of the skin. They result in redness, pain, and mild swelling of the skin without blisters.

The second degree includes damage to the outer layer of the skin and the layer underneath. This level of burn causes blisters, and sometimes the skin can swell.

Third-degree burns are the deepest and most severe types of burns. This burn includes all layers of skin and may cause structural damage to the skin.

These are a few steps to do at home when a minor burn occurs:

  • Run cool water over the burn area for few minutes.
  • Use an over-the-counter analgesic to reduce the pain caused by burns.
  • Clean the burn gently with water and mild soap.
  • Use an antibiotic ointment or aloe vera can help to reduce the pain and wound in the area.
  • Use sterile non-stick gauze pads to protect the burns.

During summer, protecting skin against the sun’s rays is very important to do. The best way to do this is to stay under the shade and cover with protective clothing or a hat. In addition, applying sunscreen with an SPF 15 or greater is a must-do to the exposed skin.

While summer is identical to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, make sure to recognize the dangers of consumers’ fireworks and avoid using them. More than a third injury have resulted from fireworks use, including burns to hands, arms, head, face, and eyes to children 15 years younger.

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