Over the past five years, the majority of burns and scalds suffered by Australian children have taken place at home – and most of the victims are under four.
As a result, panicked parents often race to treat the injuries with household items that are actually doing more harm than good.
So, to bust these old wives’ tales and help parents prevent and treat childhood burns effectively, Australian company Tiny Hearts First Aid shared a photo of items and asked parents to list which ones could be used to treat a burn.
The items included Vaseline, tea, antiseptic cream, ice, an egg, honey, butter, Peanut Butter, toothpaste, apple sauce, moisturiser, canola oil and mayonnaise.
Australian company Tiny Hearts First Aid shared this photo of items and asked parents to list which ones could be used to treat a burn
How should you treat a burn?
No matter what caused the burn or how bad it is, you should treat by:
1. DRSABCD and stop the burning
2. Call 000 if burn is to face, airway or genitalia, larger than your child’s hand or if they are in extreme discomfort
3. Commence cooling immediately with cold running water over the burn for 20 minutes
4. Remove jewellery and non-adherent wet clothing around burned area. Remember to remove their nappy!
5. Prevent hypothermia by covering your child with a blanket
6. After cooling the burn for 20 minutes apply a non-stick dressing such as glad wrap (this helps to keep fluid in, infection out, and assists with pain)
7. Give pain relief
NB: Ice sticks to the pain site, do NOT use ice to treat a burn
The post was flooded with comments from adults sharing their own opinions, with many listing ice, honey and Vaseline as items they would use to treat burns.
The answer, however, is none of the above.
‘The only way to treat a contact burn is by placing it under cool running water for twenty minutes,’ a company spokesperson said.
‘If the burn is to the face, airway, genitalia or larger than your bub’s hand you should call 000 immediately.’
No matter what, any burn – whether it is just pain, red and blistered or creamy and leathery – should be treated following the DRSABCD method and if the burn is to the face, airway or genitalia, larger than their hand or if they in extreme discomfort, then 000 should be called.
‘The only way to treat a contact burn is by placing it under cool running water for twenty minutes,’ a company spokesperson said
How can you prevent a burn?
Tiny Hearts recommends the following prevention strategies for all parents and caregivers:
Reduce water temperature at the hot water system to 50 degrees
Test bath water with the inside of your forearm or use a bath thermometer
If possible, gate off the kitchen and always supervise children in the kitchen
Use a fire guard to surround combustion fires and heaters
Keep a wrap or towel in the car and cover seatbelt buckle in summer
Always use the back stove burners first
Turn pot handles toward the back or centre of the stovetop
Do not drink or carry hot drinks while holding or standing near small children
Keep hot foods and drinks away from the edge of tables
An easy way to prevent carrying hot liquids is to serve your plates at the stovetop
Once the above process has been followed, the most important thing to do is to commence cooling the area immediately with cold running water over the burn for 20 minutes.
‘Remove jewellery and non-adherent wet clothing around burned area, remember to remove their nappy and prevent hypothermia by covering your child with a blanket,’ the Tiny Hearts First Aid site reads.
‘After cooling the burn for 20 minutes apply a non-stick dressing such as glad wrap (this helps to keep fluid in, infection out, and assists with pain) and give pain relief.
‘Please do not apply ice, creams, gels, ointments, or pop blisters. The best treatment for a burn is prevention.’