Burns awareness

Burns awareness

National Burns Awareness Month this year is raising awareness of the correct first aid for minor burns as only a third of Australians understand how to treat these burns at home.

Burns can be caused by a number of things- flames, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, hot liquids, electricity, lightning and certain chemicals. All burns require immediate first aid treatment.

As 88% of minor burns occur in or around the home, it is important to understand the correct do’s and don’ts of treatment for burns.

First Aid for Burns


Remove the person from danger and further injury.

Remove any clothing / or jewellery from burn area to allow effective cooling. Do not remove clothing that is stuck to the burn.


Cool the burn under cold running water for 20 minutes. Beware of hypothermia in young children when cooling a wound, cover non-burn areas to keep warm.
If running water is not available, consider immersion in cool water or use wet towels.

If water is not available, use a hydrogel such as Burnaid®or SoloSite®

Do not use ice, butter, toothpaste, creams or ointments as these may

make the burn worse.
With chemical burns, it is important to quickly remove the offending chemical such as acids and alkalis, wash off with running water for at least 20 minutes but take care not to splash the chemicals onto unaffected skin or other people.

For minor burns cover with a hydrogel such as Burnaid® or SoloSite® to help relieve the pain.

Then cover with a non-stick dressing and regularly review to make sure they have not become infected.

A major burn is defined as a burn of any depth that involves more than 20 per cent of the total body surface area for an adult and more than 10 per cent of the total body surface area for a child.

Major burns are a medical emergency and require urgent treatment. Immediately apply burns first aid and call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

More information on treating burns see: www.burnstrust.com.au

If you have any concerns regarding burns please contact your National Pharmacies pharmacist or doctor.


The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and should be used as a guide only. This information does not replace or substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before any action is taken based on the content of this webpage.