Bonfire Night: First Aid for Burns

Bonfire Night: First Aid for Burns

Bonfire Night: First Aid for Burns. With the clocks going back next week and Bonfire Night nearly upon us, we thought it would be a good opportunity to remind you of how to treat minor burns, should your fireworks display not go quite according to plan.


First and foremost, remember that the best form of treatment for any burn is not to get burned in the first place! So take sensible precautions, don’t return to fireworks that haven’t gone off, wear gloves with sparklers, and best of all, attend an event run by professionals, rather than doing it yourself. The statistics are pretty clear when it comes to the instances of people getting injured on bonfire night; doing it yourself is more hazardous!

Flush with Running Water for 20 Minutes

If you, or someone you are with, does get burned, then the over-riding principle is to flush with copious amounts of running water. A running tap is ideal and the burn should be held under cool running water for 20 minutes at the very least. Remember that a burn is cooking your flesh – much like cooking a steak, so if you remove the burn from the running water and it is still stinging, you are still cooking. So get it back in there!

Tepid Water is OK – Don’t suffer the cold!

It is however a mis-conception that burns need to be run under cold water – and this is often the reason that we don’t manage to keep them there for long enough as the cold becomes painfully numb. In fact, it is the running water that draws out the heat, so cool, or tepid water, is equally good, just not warm. It is far better to last for longer in water that is tepid, than give up after too short a time due to the cold.

Do not burst blisters

Any burn that blisters should not be burst, and if the blister is bigger than a 50 pence piece, hospital is advised. Also, should the burn be split or open at all, it is worth getting it checked out and properly treated.

Keep it clean with clingfilm

For more serious burns copious water is still key, as is cleanliness. If possible, lay a layer of clingfilm over the burn to keep it clean while continuing to run water over it. While transporting to hospital, cold wet cloths are essential to keep the injury cool and moist.