Putting Burns First Aid Training into Practice – Laura & Archie’s Story
With thanks to Laura and Mini First Aid for sharing this with us.
Laura Chambers saved her 20 month old son from lifelong scarring when her first aid knowledge was put to the test whilst on holiday. Luckily, Laura had attended a Mini First Aid class two weeks beforehand, during which she learned how to treat burns. Laura tells her own story.
“We were in a cafe when Archie accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee over and it scalded his legs. I think having recently attended the Mini First Aid class helped me to stay calm.
I ran quickly with Archie to the bathroom where I ran his legs under cold water straightaway. I had learned during the class that in the case of a severe burn, clothes can stick to it so I ran Archie’s legs under the cold water before trying to remove his trousers. Thankfully, his trousers had protected most of his legs. His ankles had been exposed however and appeared red and swollen, so I kept them under water for about twenty minutes.
It was really scary as Archie was screaming and being sick due to the pain. I definitely would have panicked and looked for someone to help me if I had not attended the Mini First Aid class, but my knowledge just kicked in and I was able to stay calm and comfort Archie.
My partner Sam had gone to get the car to take Archie to hospital and when he returned, I stopped running Archie’s legs under the tap and applied burn gel which we had thankfully brought with us in our Mini First Aid kit. During the class, I had learned that it is important to protect the burn so asked the café staff for clingfilm which I then wrapped around the affected area.
I cannot tell you how long that 40 minute car journey felt. Miraculously, I still remained calm. My main priority was soothing Archie and stopping him from touching his legs.
Staff at the hospital said that I had done all the right things and had helped prevent Archie’s legs from scarring. By keeping his ankles under the cold water for 20 minutes, I had helped to make sure the burn had not gone into the deeper layers of his skin. The burn covered a 5cm diameter on both ankles. Hospital staff bandaged Archie’s ankles and we had to return to hospital every 48 hours to check the wound.
A week later, Archie’s bandages were removed and he has healed really well. Thankfully, his skin now looks completely normal.
I am extremely glad I did the Mini First Aid class and don’t like to think what would have been the outcome if I had not done it. I had always wanted to do a first aid class but many were too expensive. It cost me £20 to do the two hour Mini First Aid class at my local church and I would urge every parent to do the same.”
FIRST AID ADVICE FROM THE BRITISH BURN ASSOCIATION
- Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly stuck to the wound).
- Call for help: 999, 111 or local GP for advice.
- Cover with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure the patient is kept warm.
Run COLD water first in the bath or sink before adding hot water – test the temperature.