A toddler girl holding the handle of a pot and just about to pull it off the stove

Burns can happen in a range of environments, from your home to your workplace, while camping or even when visiting friends. According to the Fiona Wood Foundation, 200,000 people suffer burns annually across Australia, and these injuries cost the community more than $150 million per annum.

Here in WA, almost 500 children a year are treated at the Perth Children's Hospital Emergency Department for burns and scalds, more than half are under the age of five. Among adults, 75% of burns injuries involve men, with 40% of these due to contact with flames.

There are three types of burns:

First-degree (superficial) burn — redness, mild swelling, and pain.

Second-degree (partial thickness) burn — deeper injury; blisters develop.

Third-degree burn — deeper destruction; skin layers are destroyed.

You can avoid burns around your home by taking a few simple precautions:

  • Use space heaters and wood burning fires carefully, and teach children to stay away from them.
  • Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet, away from children.
  • Turn the handles of pots and pans toward the side of the stove, or use the back burners.
  • Use cool-water humidifiers or vaporizers. If you use hot-steam vaporizers, keep them out of the reach of children.

If yourself, a family member, colleague or friend suffered a burn would you know how to treat it?

The treatment for all types of burns is the same, and you should ensure you follow the DRSABCD procedure.

Here's a handy guide you can follow to assist in seeing the best possible outcome from a burns injury.

  • Ensure safety for rescuers, bystanders and the victim.
  • Do not enter a burning or toxic atmosphere without appropriate protection.
  • Stop the burning process, which can be done by applying cool running water to the burn for 20-30 minutes. This will provide pain relief and minimise tissue loss.
  • Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll (where appropriate)
  • Smother any flames with a blanket
  • Move away from the burn source to a safe environment as soon as possible.
  • Assess the adequacy of the victim's airway and breathing.
  • Check for other injuries.
  • Call for an ambulance.

For all types of burn, DO NOT:

  • peel off adherent clothing or burning substances.
  • use ice or ice water to cool the burn as further tissue damage may result.
  • break blisters.
  • apply lotions, ointments, creams or powders other than hydrogel (Burnaid or similar)

Why Learn first aid and CPR?

This information is NOT a substitute for first aid training. Royal Life Saving Society WA recommends that everyone is trained in first aid and CPR. 

Learning first aid can save lives. People die every day from sudden cardiac arrest, because family members, friends, and bystanders don't know how to respond effectively.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (or CPR) is easy to learn, and our training is available all over the Perth and regional areas of Western Australia to instruct people how to deal with cardiac arrest, and many other life threatening emergencies. Learning first aid is a simple way to save a life.

You can prepare yourself to act in an emergency by attending one of our many first aid training courses. Remember, 'everyone can be a lifesaver'!

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First Aid Training - $109

Practical accredited first aid training that is flexible, enjoyable and engaging.

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School holiday fun that could save a life!

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Looking for a school holiday activity for your kids? Our full day Kids First Aid course is just $59!

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Why you should update your CPR skills.

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Research shows a person's skills in CPR decrease by 50% after just two months if they haven't practised the skill. Update your CPR certificate now!

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Swim Teacher by Royal Life Saving

Introducing our new Swim Teacher course!

This course will give you the qualifications to begin teaching swim classes in Australia.

Start your new career and enjoy flexible schedules, rewarding teaching environments and good pay. Enrol now!

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