Taking care of fire related injuries

There are many dangers around the house and sometimes injuries do happen. It’s important to know how to treat different types of burns properly, quickly and effectively before it gets infected, worse or more painful.

The Ponoka Fire Department responded to a field fire just east of Ponoka on Oct. 1. A grain truck had caught on fire and firefighters quickly contained the spreading flames before the field suffered much damage.

There are many dangers around the house and sometimes injuries do happen. It’s important to know how to treat different types of burns properly, quickly and effectively before it gets infected, worse or more painful.

Donna Noble, protective services secretary for the Ponoka Fire Department, advises different ways of treating injuries of different burns including fire, electrical and chemical burns.

For burns caused by fire, Noble says to cool burns with water for three to five minutes, follow the stop drop and roll if clothing catches fire, cover the burn with a clean bandage or dressing and not to apply ointments, butter, creams or salve to the burn, only cool water.

Noble warns to take precautions when dealing with electrical injuries and to treat them accordingly.

“Do not touch the injured person until the source of power has been disconnected. Primary concerns are airway, breathing, circulation and cervical spine immobilization,” said Noble. “Electricity can cause the heart and breathing to stop. Assess for injuries and begin first aid. Internal injuries may not be evident as electricity can cause severe damage inside the body when it enters and exits.

Regarding chemical injuries Noble says to be smart and careful when treating the burns.

“With a cloth, gently brush any dry chemicals off the skin and remove contact lenses and clothing if necessary, before flushing with water for at least 20 minutes or until the pain stops,” she said. “Be careful not to flush the chemical on to other parts of the body. Read container labels or consult with the Poison Control Centre before administering first aid.”

Noble also says to see a doctor if the burn is larger than the size of a quarter and informs that electricity, chemicals, smoke and toxic fumes complicate a burn injury. Medical conditions such as diabetes, mental and physical impairment can also cause complications.

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