Macomb Township Fire Department
Fire Safety Tips
Burn Prevention and Care
The first full week of February is observed as Burn Awareness Week.
In a report done by the American Burn Association, scalds are the most common type of
burn with roughly half of the burns treated annually in the United States and Canada
being this type. Prevention of scalds is always preferable to treatment and can be
accomplished through simple changes in behavior and in the home environment.
The skin of children and older adults are not the same as a younger adult’s. It is much
thinner and more sensitive. What may seem a little warm to a younger adult may be
dangerously hot to a child or older adult.
DEGREES OF BURNS
First-degree burns, the mildest of the three, are limited to the top layer of skin:
• Signs and symptoms: These burns produce redness, pain, and minor swelling. The
skin is dry without blisters.
• Healing time: Healing time is about 3 to 6 days; the superficial skin layer over the
burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days.
Second-degree burns are more serious and involve the skin layers beneath the top layer:
Although scald burns can
happen to anyone, young
children, older adults and
people with disabilities and
mobility issues are the most
likely to incur such injuries.
• Signs and symptoms: These burns produce blisters, severe pain, and redness. The
blisters sometimes break open and the area is wet looking with a bright pink to
cherry red color.
• Healing time: Healing time varies depending on the severity of the burn.
Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn and involve all the layers of the
skin and underlying tissue:
• Signs and symptoms: The surface appears dry and can look waxy white, leathery,
brown, or charred. There may be little or no pain or the area may feel numb at
first because of nerve damage.
• Healing time: Healing time depends on the severity of the burn. Deep second- and
third-degree burns (called full-thickness bu