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Burns: they happen frequently so be prepared

Online since 10.04.2018 • Filed under Health • From Seventeen - April to June 2018 page(s) 28
Burns: they happen frequently so be prepared

Burns are devastating injuries that cause both physical scarring and mental anguish. It is estimated that over a million patients are burned annually on the African continent – 18% of hospital admissions are because of burns and the mortality rate is 6 to 10%.

Dry heat (such as fire), wet heat (such as steam or hot liquids), radiation, friction, heated objects, the sun, electricity, or chemicals can all cause burns. Thermal burns are the most common kind of burn and occurs when some or all the cells in the skin or other tissues are destroyed by:

• hot liquids or steam (scalds)

• hot solids (contact burns), or

• flames (flame burns).

 

The symptoms associated with a burn often depend on the cause and type of burn. There are three primary types of burns: first, second, and third degree, and each degree is based on the severity of damage to the skin, including blisters, pain, peeling, red skin, swelling, white or charred skin, as well as symptoms of shock that can include pale skin and bluish lips and fingernails. The degree of pain is not related to the severity of the burn, as the most serious burns can be painless. Burns are very common especially with children. As soon as they can move, their will to explore can put their safety at risk. A South African survey showed thermal injuries to be the most common external cause of death of children under the age of four years, and the third most common cause of fatal injuries of children under the age of 18.

 

As most burns occur in and around the home, it is important to be alert to potential burn hazards here. Be careful while cooking, check your appliances and make sure there are no loose cords. Be safe when you smoke or use candles. Proceed with caution while using fire gels or paraffin because they stick to your hands. Lastly, ensure that you educate your children about the potential danger by teaching them about the hazards of fires and how to avoid foreseeable dangers. Injuries happen very quickly and can be painful, so be prepared in case of emergency. Most minor burns will heal on their own, and home treatment (cooling the burn for at least 10 minutes with cool or tepid running water and using an over-the-counter pain reliever for pain) is usually all that is needed to relieve your symptoms and promote healing. But if you suspect you or your child may have a more severe injury, arrange an appointment with your doctor immediately.

 

It’s also important to remember that when the skin is damaged, there is a higher risk of infection, so it is very important to keep the wound clean and dry. Do not apply paste, oil, haldi (turmeric), butter, or raw cotton to the burn. When it is a minor burn over a small area that doesn’t require medical attention, BETADINE® can be used to prevent and treat infections from burns. It will kill bacteria, viruses and fungi that could cause your wound to become infected. You can either use BETADINE® Antiseptic Solution, BETADINE® Antiseptic Ointment or BETADINE® First Aid Cream as long as you apply liberally on the burn site and cover with a bandage or dressing.

To learn more about wound care, and what you should have stocked at home for your little emergencies, visit http://betadine.co.za/woundcare/.

Seventeen - April to June 2018

Seventeen - April to June 2018

This article was featured on page 28 of Babys and Beyond Seventeen - April to June 2018 .

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