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What To Do When Burned

Get medical help if:

  • Burn is second-degree
  • Burn covers more than 5% of your body (even if it is only a first-degree burn)
  • Stop the heat immediately. The faster you cool the burn, the less severe the injury. Flushing with cool water is best, but if necessary, use a cold non-alcoholic beverage. Don't use ice, and don't use salt water.
  • Remove clothing, rings, belts, shoes, before swelling occurs.
  • For chemical burns, flush the area for 20 minutes with cool water.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile dressing or band aid.
  • Elevate the burned limb to relieve swelling and soreness.
  • Loss of body heat is a concern with burns covering a large area. Cover the injured person with a dry sheet for warmth.

Here's what NOT to do:

  • Do not apply butter, grease, or ointment.
  • Do not break blisters.
  • Do not remove clothing that sticks to burn. Cut clothing away if necessary.