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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Burn care

Submitted by Michaela Sholes

One of the most common injuries in rural communities is a burn. Whether as a result of children being too close to the cooking pot/fire, acid being thrown at someone during a fight, or during dry season when there is a lot of brush fires, burns can quickly become life-threatening if not addressed quickly and effectively. As with wound management in general, there are a number of local or home remedies that are used when this happen, which can include anything from putting gel from the aloe plant (good for treatment, but only following proper cleaning and medical care for the burn) to putting sand (NOT a sterile or effective method) on the burn.

Just a few weeks ago, a friend of ours called me in a minor panic as a family member had just spilled boiling water all over her hands and needed information about how to properly manage her injury. Ironically enough, not 3 days later, her daughter was also burned by boiling water, but this time, because she had had the previous experience, she was able to handle it quickly and effectively.

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