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First aid: Dealing with burns

To treat someone who has suffered a burn to their skin, follow these 3 steps.

1. Immediately cool the affected area under cold running water for a full 10 minutes. This helps to relieve the pain, reduce the swelling and prevent scarring. The faster the burn is cooled, the less likely it is that there will be any lasting damage to the skin.

2. After cooling the skin for 10 minutes, cover the affected area with cling film or a clean plastic bag. This keeps the wound clean and prevents it from getting infected. Plastic is ideal because it doesn’t stick to the burnt area. It also reduces pain by keeping air away from the skin’s surface.

3. As soon as you can, call 999 or get someone to do it. Burns may need medical treatment, and in any case you should always call 999 when a child has been burned.

Remember NOT to put any creams, lotions or any other solutions on the skin. Use ONLY cold running water and a plastic wrap to treat and cover the burnt skin.

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