BURNS are incredibly common in children but not everyone knows how to treat them.
From using butter to toothpaste to calm the affected area, a variety of old wives’ tales have been suggested to soothe a burn.
But baby and child first aiders Tiny Hearts Education — which was set up by a former paramedic — warned these old tricks could actually make the problem worse.
A spokesperson said: “If it goes on your toast or toothbrush, don’t put it on a burn.
“These things are still commonly used to treat burns but they actually insulate the area, hold the heat and increase the damage.
“Gold standard treatment is cool running water — two to 15 degrees — for at least 20 minutes.”
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In a video posted to Instagram, the paramedics showed what happens to a burn if you use toothpaste, honey or butter on a burn.
They took four pieces of chicken breast and poured boiling water over them to simulate a common source of burning in children.
The first three are then lathered in each of the unorthodox substances to see how it would affect temperature.
A thermometer was used to probe each of the pieces, showing the toothpaste piece had a temperature of 63.1C after it was applied.
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The temperature for the honey piece was 61.4C, while it was 56.2C on the piece covered in butter.
For comparison, a piece that was held under cold water for 20 minutes measured 16.1C afterwards.
This showed how the old wives’ remedies did nothing to cool the meat down, while following standard burn treatment helped get it to a safe temperature, the team said.
Burns and scalds occur when the skin is damaged, usually by heat, and both are treated the same way.
Scalds are caused by something wet, like boiling water, while burns are caused by dry heat like a fire.
They can cause red, peeling skin, blisters, swelling and white or charred skin.
Treating burns and scalds
According to the NHS, you should follow this first aid advice for treating a burn:
- immediately get the person away from the heat source to stop the burning
- remove any clothing or jewellery that's near the burnt area of skin, including babies' nappies, but do not move anything that's stuck to the skin
- cool the burn with cool or lukewarm running water for 20 to 30 minutes – do not use ice, iced water, or any creams or greasy substances like butter
- make sure the person keeps warm by using a blanket, for example, but take care not to rub it against the burnt area
- after cooling the burn, cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it – a clean plastic bag could also be used for burns on your hand
- use painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat any pain
- raise the affected area if possible – this helps to reduce swelling
- if it's an acid or chemical burn, dial 999, carefully try to remove the chemical and any contaminated clothing, and rinse the affected area using as much clean water as possible
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