Burns first-aid

Burns can be very serious but good first aid will greatly reduce scarring or the need to go to hospital.

If your child has suffered a burn:

  • Use cool running water on the burn for 20 minutes. This will stop the burning process and cool the burn.

  • Remove clothing and jewellery, if possible

  • Call Triple Zero (000) or get immediate medical help if:

    • The burn is larger than a 20-cent piece

    • The burn is on the child’s face, hands, feet, groin or buttocks

    • You are unsure or concerned.

Never use ice, iced water, cream, gel, toothpaste, butter or anything else on a burn as they can make the burn worse. Burn creams don’t cool the burn and must not be used instead of cool running water.

Note: Using cool water for 20 minutes is effective within 3 hours of the burn.

Free online module on burns first aid 

Click here to complete a FREE online e-learning module to give you knowledge on how to perform correct first aid for common types of burns including scalds, flame, friction, electrical and chemical burns.

For more information visit the Australian and New Zealand Burns Association (ANZBA).

Free copies of the first aid for burns fridge magnet can be ordered from our Resources to order page.