Fire burns, the sun burns, electricity burns, and cold…Yes, yes, cold also burns!
Burns are wouds on the skin that are caused by heat, electricity, cold, sunshine, chemical products or radioactivity. The higher the temperature is and the longer we are exposed to any one of these elements, the more serious the burn will be, and therefore, the risk of complication will be greater.
If we keep at a safe distance from fire and we use protection when we sunbathe, we won’t get burnt.
Curiosity, sometimes, burns
Children under 4 years old are the ones that get burnt the most. Usually it is because they put their hand on the fire or touch a socket without knowing that it is very dangerous.
Be careful with curiosity! It is great to be curious, but before doing anything, think if there is any risk of getting burnt or hurt.
At home we should always be on the lookout. Avoid hot irons, pans on a hot stove, and sockets or plugs, and you will avoid the risk of getting burnt.
Grandparents also get burnt quite often because when people get older, they lose sensitivity and reflex.
Types of burns
The skin is the largest organ of the human (and animal) body. Two of its most important functions are protecting us from the external elements and regulating the temperature of the body. The main layers of the skin are: the epidermis, the dermis and the hypodermic.
The depth of a burn relates to the layers of skin affected. Burns are classified into three degrees, depending on the thickness of the damaged tissue.
First degree burns: affect the external layer and a few internal layers of the skin. They cause pain, redness, inflammation and blisters.
Second degree and superficial burns: afectan a la capa externa y a algunas capas internas de la piel. Provocan dolor, enrojecimiento, inflamación y ampollas.
Third degree burns: affect all the layers of the skin. They are not painful (because the nerves that transmit the sensation of pain are also damaged). The skin becomes whitish, dark or carbon coloured.
What should we do when we get burns?
The first thing that should be done is remove the person from where he/she is getting burnt, and go straight away to find help from an adult or a responsible person. If the burn is small, and the clothes are not too stuck to the skin, they should be removed together with any rings and bracelets, before that part of the body becomes inflamed. Then, without wasting any time, go to the medical centre so that the burn can be seen to and cured.
Is the burn serious?
To know if a burn is serious, we must focus on the quantity of skin that has been burnt, the depth of it, and where the wound is. The larger and deeper the wound is on our body, the more serious it will be. The ones that are more critical are situated on the face, neck, hands, feet, genitals and/or the joints (knees, elbows, back…). Even if they are small, don’t overlook them.
Can we burst blisters?
|When we get burnt, blisters usually appear. They are called water-blisters and they are bags of liquid that form on the skin. If it is smaller than 1 cm and the skin that covers it is thick, it is not advisable to break it. If it is larger, you should go to a medical centre, so that they can drain the liquid and remove the skin that covers it, using special equipment.
Things that burn
We all know that fire burns, but the list is much longer. Here follows a list of some elements that can be dangerous:
|Lighters and matches
|Hot oil and water
|Drinking chocolate and other foodstuffs if they are very hot
|Lights that are turned on
|Cleaning and chemical products
|Ice (cold also burns!)
And many other things. You simply have to be careful.
How can we avoid burning ourselves?
|Don’t play with cleaning products or others that you don’t know what they are used for, or that are dangerous.
|Be careful with crackers and fireworks. Don’t ever light any without the permission or supervision of an adult.
|Don’t play with lighters or matches.
|Keep away from the kitchen stove and the iron.
|Stay away from sockets.
|Although the kitchen stove should be avoided, remember that the handles of pots and pans should not stick out from the stove, and that lids prevent oil and water splashes.
|Make sure that the food is not too hot.
|Don’t touch things that generate heat, such as light bulbs and heaters.
|Don’t play with fire. If there are any embers, do not throw anything into them that may cause flames.
|Apply protective sun lotion suited to your skin type thirty minutes before being exposed to the sun and again after swimming. Put some more lotion on from time to time, even if it is cloudy.
I have been told that toothpaste…
|Some advice is harmful for burns, such as:
-Rinsing the wound with freezing water or ice cubes
Before putting anything on a burn, call an adult.