How to Treat Hot Water Burns

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When treating hot water burns, it's important to immediately cool the burn off, leave the area that caused the injury and know whether a trip to an emergency room is warranted. Keep safe with advice from a paramedic in this free video on treating hot water burns.

Part of the Video Series: Basic First Aid Tips
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Video Transcript

Hello my name is Chip, and I am a paramedic instructor for the State of North Carolina. We are going to talk briefly on how to treat hot water burns. Hot water burns can be anything from your tap water that has been turned up too high or you are boiling something while cooking dinner, and water spills out, splashes out. Or heaven forbid a child grabs the handle, and tips over a bucket of boiling water from the stove. The biggest thing with hot water burns is you want to cool it down quickly. Once you get the burn on let's say your arm go under some running water, not cold water, but just lukewarm to cool water. You don't want to get it too cold. Just to slow down that burning process on the skin. If you don't allow it to stop it is going to continue to burn until it slows down on it's own. So again tap water to cool it down, dry it a little bit. Sometimes if it is very hot water, again boiling water you are going to get a blistering effect. You can actually get a second degree burn, which can be serious if it is on let's say your entire wrist or your fingers. You can have problems with moving your fingers as well as your wrist. Also swelling if it goes, if the burn goes all the way around it is called a circumferencial burn to your wrist or fingers it can cause swelling that almost acts as a tourniquet, and squeezes as that skin starts to swell. That can be a pretty serious emergency, because it can slow down your blood flow. All parts beyond that are distal to that site so with those you definitely want to seek medical attention very quickly. Also with burns it is important that however the burn has happen you don't want to get hurt any further so if there is hot water on the floor make sure you don't step in it, make sure you get the patient away from the hazard area to make sure you can take care of them without hurting them or yourself any more. And this has been basic treatment for hot water burns.


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