Act quickly if your child has suffered a burn or scald. Run the skin under cool running water and leave it there for at least 10 minutes.* For children with burns call an ambulance and keep cooling the burn while you wait.
First aid for burns and scalds

  • Cool the burnt area immediately with cool running water for at least 20 minutes*.
  • Clothing retains heat and so remove immediately from the burnt area if possible, otherwise remove after cooling for at least 10 minutes. However, do not try to pull off clothing that has stuck to the skin.
  • Remove rings, bracelets, watches, etc, from the affected area as burns often swell and these will become tight.
  • In adults if you are not calling an ambulance, after cooling the burn for at least 20 minutes, loosely cover the burn with cling film or a sterile/clean plastic bag and leave on until seen by a doctor or nurse.
  • Paracetamol or Ibuprofen may help to ease pain for small burns.
  • If worried about the severity of a burn always telephone 999/112
  • All burns on children should be seen by a doctor.

Do not do any of the following:

  • Prick any blisters or touch the burn.
  • Apply creams, ointments, oils, grease, etc. (The exception is for mild sunburn. Aloe vera may help to soothe this.)
  • Put on an adhesive, sticky, or fluffy dressing

*For chemical burns cool for at least 20 minutes but possibly longer.

It is strongly advised that parents attend a practical First Aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

Emma Hammett
First Aid for Life
0208 675 4036
First Aid for life provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for medical advice. First Aid for Life is not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made, or actions taken based on this information.

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