If you’re popping a bag of frozen peas on hot scolds and burns, you may need to tweak your first aid plan – along with two thirds of Australians who rely on outdated myths for treating minor burns.
New research reveals that two in three Australians mistakenly believe that minor burns are best treated with ‘home remedies’ (i), with an alarming 50% of Australian adults believing that applying ice or an icepack to a burn can help. Based on the research, an estimated 1.9 million Australian adults would opt for a moisturising cream and a whopping 1 million of us believe that applying butter directly to a burn can help.
“National Burns Awareness Month– 1-30 June 2017 .”
Other common ‘home remedies’ that can do more harm than good include applying a bag of frozen peas or toothpaste – 1.1 million Australians believe that applying toothpaste can help to treat a minor burn.
Julian Burton OAM, Founder of the Julian Burton Burns Trust says “when it comes to treating minor burns, unfortunately there are still many common misconceptions. Many people don’t realise that home remedies such as putting butter or ice directly on the burn can actually make the injury considerably worse. During National Burns Awareness Month our goal is to increase awareness of the correct treatment for everyday household burns and scalds.”
Treating Minor Burns: The No: 1 Thing To Do IMMEDIATLEY
While the overwhelming majority of Australian burns sufferers (88%) understand it is important to treat a burn immediately, 90% do not know the correct treatment for a burn (ii).
Australia’s leading burns specialists advise that burns should be placed under cool running water for at least 20 minutes (iii). If water is not available, use a hydrogel to help relieve the pain and seek medical attention for any burn bigger than a 20c piece size, or with blisters, or if any other concerns are present.
With 88% of minor burns occurring at home (iv), it’s essential that correct first aid treatment for everyday household burns and scalds is well understood by all parents.
George Tambassis, pharmacist and National President of The Pharmacy Guild of Australia says the latest research shows a gap in our awareness of how to correctly treat a minor burn. “This National Burns Awareness Month we would encourage all Australians to take a few minutes to understand how best to treat a minor burn so as to not accidentally make it worse, and if unsure to seek advice from their local pharmacist,” explains George.
Julian agrees, adding that the correct first aid treatment for minor burns or scalds is pretty simple. “You need to Remove, Cool, then Cover,” he advises. “REMOVE yourself from any danger, and also remove any clothing or jewellery from around the burn area. Then COOL the burn under running water for 20 minutes, and COVER the burn area with a hydrogel, such as Burnaid® gel, which will help to relieve the pain, and finally cover the burn with a clean dressing.”
Sydney Mum, Stacey Fisher knows first-hand how easy kids can be burnt while doing every day activities at home. “My son Leo suffered a minor burn when he was 18 months old,” Stacey explains. “We were in the kitchen and I was showing him what I was cooking when he suddenly reached out and put his hand flat on a frying pan. I put his hand immediately under cool water for 20 minutes, which was almost as traumatic as the burn! He damaged a couple of layers of skin but it started to heal well. I am just really thankful I knew the right first aid treatment so that the burn healed quickly and Leo doesn’t have any scars on his hand today.”
Minor Burns Facts
- 88% of minor burns occur in the home. (vi)
- 58% of burns are due to hot surfaces. Most notably metal in the oven (as opposed to
steam / hot water/ flames or hot liquid). (vii)
- 77% of minor burns are on the hands and wrist. (viii)
- 75% of consumers who have experienced a burn believe the recommended duration
for running a burn under cool water is 10 minutes or less. (ix)
- 50% of Australians mistakenly believe applying ice or an ice pack is appropriate
treatment for a burn. (x)
- 21% of Australians mistakenly believe applying butter, moisturising cream or
toothpaste is appropriate treatment for a burn. (xi)
- 30% (5.4 million Australian adults) believe applying a bag of frozen peas immediately after the burn would be helpful. (xii)
[i] Home Remedies for Burns research – commissioned by Mundipharma. Conducted on the Galaxy Online Omnibus 23 – 26 February 2017, national sample of 1000 Australians aged 18 years and older.
[ii] Burns Awareness research – commissioned by Mundipharma Pty Limited. Conducted by Galkal, 22-29 May, 2015, national sample of 515 Australians aged 18 years and older (who had suffered a burn in last 6 months)
[iii] Water First Aid Is Beneficial In Humans Post-Burn: Evidence from a Bi-National Cohort Study; Fiona M. Wood, Michael Phillips, Tom Jovic, John T Cassidy, Peter Cameron, Dale W. Edgar. Steering Committee of the Burn Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ). Published January 25, 2016
[iv] Burns Awareness research – commissioned by Mundipharma Pty Limited. Conducted by Galkal, 22-29 May, 2015, national sample of 515 Australians aged 18 years and older (who had suffered a burn in last 6 months)
[v] BRANZ Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand, Annual Report, ANNUAL REPORT, 1st July 2013 –30th June 2014
[vi] Burns Awareness research – commissioned by Mundipharma Pty Limited. Conducted by Galkal, 22-29 May, 2015, national sample of 515 Australians aged 18 years and older (who had suffered a burn in last 6 months)
[vii] ibid. [viii] ibid. [ix] ibid. [x] ibid.
[xi] Home Remedies for Burns research – commissioned by Mundipharma. Conducted on the Galaxy Online Omnibus 23 – 26 February 2017, national sample of 1000 Australians aged 18 years and older.
ABOUT: National Burns Awareness Month is an initiative of the Julian Burton Burns Trust, Australia’s leading community organisation dedicated to burn injury, and held in June each year as there is a significantly increased risk of burns during winter. With the support of Burnaid® gel, it will be hosting a series of national educational and awareness initiatives throughout the month.