First Aid Treatment for Burns Update

white background vector illustration of a hand burn

The protocol regarding treatment for a small burn has changed – the affected area should be held under cool water for a minimum of 20 minutes.

1. Cool the burn under cold running water for at least 20 minutes.

Cooling the burn will reduce pain, swelling and the risk of scarring. The faster and longer a burn is cooled with cold running water, the less the impact of the injury.

2. After the burn has been cooled, cover it with cling film or a clean plastic bag.

This helps prevent infection by keeping the area clean. Cling film or plastic won’t stick to the burn and will reduce pain by keeping air from the skin’s surface.

3. Call 999 if necessary.

If you can’t call 999, get someone else to do it. 

The burn may need urgent medical treatment. If you’re in any doubt, seek medical advice and always seek medical advice for a baby or child who has been burned.