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Be an emergency aider: burns

Get the cold water at the ready and find out how to help someone who’s burned themselves.
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Chairs
  • Access to water (optional)

Before you begin

  • Make sure the person leading the activity knows about first aid. Someone from your group or local area with a first aid certificate could take charge, or you could reach out to places that help provide first aid training or support, for example, St John Ambulance or the British Red Cross.
  • You’ll need enough leaders for the activity, including enough people who are happy to demonstrate first aid techniques.
  • Adults should only demonstrate and practise first aid on other adults; young people should only demonstrate and practise first aid on other young people. Adults and young people should never demonstrate or practise first aid on each other.
  • Remember that this activity touches on topics that might be sensitive for some people. Give everyone the opportunity to step away if they need to compose themselves.
  • Place the chairs in a semi-circle facing the person leading the activity and ask everyone to sit down.

Learn what to do

  1. Have a quick chat with everyone about what they already know about minor burns or scalds. Explain what they are, when they might happen, and the signs and symptoms.
  1. Show everyone how to treat a minor burn or scald, using another adult as the casualty. Explain what you’re doing every step of the way.
  2. Everyone should share what they already know about severe burns. Explain what they are, how they’re different from minor burns, when they might happen, and the signs and symptoms.
  1. Show everyone how to treat a severe burn or scald, using another adult as the casualty. Explain what you’re doing every step of the way.
  2. Have a quick re-cap with everyone on how to deal with shock.
  1. Everyone should split into groups of three young people. One person should be the first aider, one person should be he casualty, and the third person should watch and help. They should practise treating burns, swapping roles so that everyone has a turn at being the first aider. Make sure some adults walk around so they can help if anyone’s finding it tricky.

Reflection

This activity helped people to develop skills. It also needed everyone to be responsible. Both minor and severe burns are treated by cooling the affected area down. Why do people think this is important? It stops the burn doing more damage. Why is it important to stay calm when treating someone for a burn? The good news is that lots of burns can be avoided. When do people think burns are most likely to happen? People could think about hazards in different scenarios, like at home or on camp. What measures could people put in place to reduce the likelihood of burns and keep everyone safe?

Safety

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.