This month's Safety First topic is burns. How many times have you been in the garage working on your dragster and accidentally leaned against the headers, it's then and only then that you realize that wearing shorts may not have been the best choice of clothing today. If you own a dragster I think it's safe to say you also own a burn scar some place on your body most likely on your leg some place. This month we will talk about not only the different types of burns but the best way to treat them once they have occurred.
There are a number of burns all of which can be considered serious. The following is a list of types of burns.
1st degree - a burn to the top or epidermal portion of the skin The skin will be red and usually quite painful.
2nd degree - the top or epidermal portion of the skin is burned The skin will be blistered and red and, again, quite painful.
3rd degree - a full thickness burn where all the layers of skin are burned including nerve endings and tendons and in most cases will be charred and black. This type of burn is the most serious. The site itself may have little pain due to the nerve damage; however, 3rd degree burns are often surrounded by 2nd and 1st degree burns.
1st degree - Apply water to the site or immerse in water, cover with a clean dry dressing and elevate the injury site above the heart. Call EMS if necessary.
2nd degree - Apply water to the site or immerse in water, cover with a clean dry dressing and elevate the injury site above the heart. Call EMS.
3rd degree - DO NOT rinse with running water as it may wash away burned skin. Cover with a clean dressing and then apply water to keep the area on and around the burn site cool. Call EMS immediately.
DO NOT use butter on a burn this is nothing more than a wives tale and will only increase the pain.
Electrical burns pose a significant threat to the rescuer as well as the victim. Someone who has had an electrical burn may still be charged with electricity and because they may be unconscious won't be able to give any indication.
Electrical burns may be similar to that of a gun shot wound in that there may be an entrance and exit wound such as a burn on the hand where the electricity entered the body and on one or both feet where it exited.
Make sure that the power is turned off and that the victim is not sitting or laying in a puddle of water. Water is a very good conductor of electricity.
-Check the vitals: breathing and pulse.
-Do not move the victim unless necessary.
-Cover burn areas with a dry sterile dressing.
-Activate the EMS system
Remember, make sure that the area around the victim is safe before you enter.
This months safety tip: Fire extinguishers are an important safety tool that everyone should own, a small carburetor or garbage can fire can become a major catastrophe and as inexpensive as a fire extinguisher is (around $10.00 at your local do it your self hardware store) there's no reason not to have one in your race shop, trailer or both. a very important tip to remember about extinguishers is that once it has been used it must be recharged or replaced don't hang it back up on the wall for next time and expect it to be operable. IT WON'T BE !!
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