Be prepared, that’s the Boy Scout motto – and a good motto to have, if you’re shooting off fireworks. While you should always handle your fireworks with extreme caution, it is also a good idea to know what to do in the case someone gets hurt. Burns are the most common type of bodily harm caused by fireworks, attributing to more than half of reported injuries. Learning how to handle the situation, if a burn accident should occur, will give you peace of mind at your next firework display.
First-degree burns are red, painful and might swell a bit; when pressed, the skin will turn white. If this burn is less than 2 to 3 inches in diameter, it can be treated at home. Soak the burn in cool water for five minutes to lessen any remaining heat and swelling. Use a healing skin care product, such as ale vera cream or antibiotic ointment and wrap with a dry gauze bandage for protection, if needed. Ibuprofen (eg: Advil) can be taken to help with any pain and swelling. A first degree burn should heal up in 3 to 6 days.
Second-degree burns are very painful and usually blister; the skin will become red, splotch and swollen. If the burn area is not on the face or a joint and under 2 to 3 inches around, you can treat at home, although you may want to call your doctor for additional advice. Soak the affected area in cool water for 15 minutes. Dress with an antibiotic cream or prescribed ointment and cover with nonstick bandaging. A second-degree burn will take 2 to 3 weeks to heal and you will need to clean and change the dressing every day. If there are signs of infection, such as pus or increased pain, call your doctor for additional instructions.
Third-degree burns affect all layers of the skin. These burns may not actually hurt due to nerve damage, but will appear white and / charred. This type of burn is a serious medical condition and needs to be attended to at a hospital immediately. To help a victim of a third-degree burn, call 911 immediately and, if possible, raise the burned area above heart level while you wait. Unlike lesser burns, do not soak in water and do not remove clothing stuck to the burn. However, you can cover the wound with a cool, damp cloth until help arrives. This type of burn will take a long time to heal.