One of the most common domestic accidents that we should be conscious about are burns or scalds. Burning or scalding happens when our flesh gets direct contact with flame, hot object, hot liquid, hot steam, and even electricity or chemicals. Most domestic burns or scalds happen in the kitchen and are associated with cooking activities. These are activities wherein we are surrounded by hot objects like pots, pans or griddle and hot liquids like oil, water, broth and even steam. The bathroom and dining area can also be places where kids and adults can suffer from scalds or burns especially when you don’t test your bath water first before jumping in, or test your soup and hot beverage before sipping. Scalds and burns are painful and possibly serious injuries that should be treated properly.

The Merriam Webster medical dictionary defines the three types of burns as:

  • First degree burn – a mild burn characterized by heat, pain, and reddening of the burned surface, but not exhibiting blistering or charring of tissues.
  • Second degree burn – a burn marked by pain, blistering, and superficial destruction of dermis with edema and hyperemia of the tissues beneath the burn.
  • Third degree burn – a severe burn characterized by destruction of the skin through the depth of the dermis and possibly into underlying tissues, loss of fluid and sometimes shock.

The immediate treatment for burns is to cool down the burned area; soaking it in cool tap water can do the trick for initial treatment. Examine the burn closely to determine its extent or degree. Minor or first degree burns may be treated with burn ointments after soaking it in cool or cold water for a few minutes. Second and third degree burns are severe and need professional medical attention, avoid applying ointments or any topical relief until you consult your doctor. While waiting for help, keep the burn areas soaked in cool water and cover it with clean and moist cloth or bandages if available. Minor burns covering a large area of the skin or burns in the face, hands, feet or groin are considered as serious burns and have to be given immediate medical attention.