Burns First Aid Kits


A burn is caused by dry heat. This can be caused by an iron or fire, for example. A scald is caused by something wet, such as hot water or steam.

Burns can be very painful and can cause blisters and charred, black or red skin.

When to get medical attention

Depending on how serious a burn is, it may be possible to treat it at home with a Burns kit. For minor burns, keep the burn clean and do not burst any blisters that form.


More serious burns will require professional medical attention. You should go to a hospital A&E department for:

all chemical and electrical burns
large or deep burns – any burn bigger than your hand
full thickness burns of all sizes – these burns cause white or charred skin
partial thickness burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals – these are burns that cause blisters

If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also seek medical attention. Some symptoms may be delayed and can include coughing, a sore throat, difficulty breathing or facial burns.

People who are at greater risk from the effects of burns, such as children under five years old and pregnant women, should also get medical attention after a burn or scald.

The size and depth of the burn will be assessed and the affected area cleaned before a dressing is applied. In severe cases, skin graft surgery may be recommended.


NHS Choices

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