National Burn Awareness Day 2023: First aid for burns from using your hot water bottle

National Burn Awareness Day 2023: First aid for burns from using your hot water bottle

The Hot Water Bottle Company is proud to support the UK's National Burn Awareness Day 2023 on Wednesday 11th October.

Preventing burns is key when using a hot water bottle. Many hot water bottle burns are caused because the hot water bottle is not filled, used or cared for properly or the hot water bottle being used has perished

We were approached to support NBAD2023 by Kristina Stiles an NHS Burns Clinical Nurse Specialist who passionately champions burns prevention and first aid messages through awareness and education campaigns such as the Family Oops story. Kristina has provided the first aid advice below on what to do if you sustain a burn using your hot water bottle.

If you are unsure if your hot water bottle is safe to use replace it. Read our guide to shopping for safe hot water bottles.

If you do sustain burn while using your hot water bottle here's what you need to do:

1. REMOVE any clothing, socks, nappies and jewellery near burned area


> Remove any clothing and socks if near the burn area

> Remove nappies on babies and infants if near the burn area

> Remove jewellery if near or on any burn areas


 x Pull clothing or jewellery off if it is stuck to the skin or is hard to remove without causing pain

2. COOL the burn under running tap water for 20 minutes within 3 hours of burn injury


> Apply cool running water from a shower or a tap to the burn area for 20 minutes

> Use a cool compress or a wet towel if running water is unavailable, and make sure to refresh it every 3-5 minutes, cooling for a total of 20 minutes

> Use cool (not cold!) water at 15°C or warmer for cooling the burn

> Remember that cooling is still effective within 3 hours of burn injury happening

> Keep the rest of the person warm whilst cooling the burn, and especially after cooling


 x Use ice or ice packs as this can deepen the burn

3. CALL GP or NHS 111 for medical attention, in an emergency dial 999


> Seek medical advice over the phone by calling NHS 111 or your GP surgery if the burn is:

  • bigger than a 50 pence coin
  • on the hands, feet, face or genitals
  • over a joint
  • affecting a vulnerable individual, a child or an older person

> Dial 999 in an emergency


 x Delay seeking help if you have any concerns or doubts about your burn injury

4. COVER the burn wound with loose cling film and keep the person warm


> Cover the burn loosely with cling film after cooling

> Cover the burn with a clean non-fluffy cloth or a plastic bag, if cling film is unavailable


 x Apply toothpaste, ice, butter, creams, oils, cotton wool, turmeric, eggs, aloe vera or yoghurt

 x Apply anything other than cling film or a clean cloth 

Appropriate and timely first aid after a burn will:

  • reduce the size and depth of the burn
  • reduce the need for surgery or a skin graft
  • reduce the risk of infection
  • reduce the likelihood of scarring
  • promote faster healing

Remember – you are the best first aider for your child or loved one in case of a burn, because you are already there!


#BeBurnsAware #CoolCallCover #coolwater20mins #NBAD2023

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