When camping in the wilderness, there’s the possibility of getting injured due to extreme temperatures. It’s important to prepare for any conditions you may encounter when camping or hiking since there may not be medical care easily available. Staying out in the sun for too long can lead to heat stroke or heat exhaustion while staying too long in the cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia. In the same vein, burns may occur when cooking over a campfire or using nonelectric lanterns. The following information offers basic ways to prevent and treat burns while camping. For serious burns, you should always seek professional medical care.
Practicing appropriate fire safety can prevent burns. When camping, you can practice fire safety by following these steps.
Burns are categorized into three degrees of damage, each requiring different amounts of care. The damage done by a burn also depends on the area affected and amount of skin burned.
First-degree burns are mild and only affect the superficial layer of skin. An example is a sunburn. First-degree burns are painful and can cause redness and swelling around the burned area.
These burns will heal on their own within a few days or weeks depending on the area of skin affected. While you usually don’t need medical help for minor burns, there are some ways you can protect the tissue and reduce pain.
Second-degree burns are more serious than first-degree burns because they damage the outer layer of skin, the epidermis, and the next layer of skin, the dermis. These burns are painful and can blister the skin. The skin may look white, deep red, or dark brown. Without proper treatment, second-degree burns may cause infection because the skin is the body’s first defense against harmful particles like bacteria.
If a second-degree burn covers a large area or is on a sensitive part of the body such as the face, hands, feet, or around a major joint, it is considered a major burn and you should seek medical care. If not, and the burn is less than 3 inches in diameter, you can treat it with the following steps.
Third-degree burns damage not only all the layers of the skin, but possibly the fatty tissue, muscles, and tendons underneath. Third degree burns also may destroy the nerves and cause a loss of feeling. If the skin and tissue is numb instead of painful, it’s a third-degree burn. The tissue may look charred and can look white, black, brown, or yellow.
Third-degree burns are very serious and must be checked out immediately in the ER. While waiting for emergency care, there are a few steps you can take to reduce harm.
For more information on treating various degrees of burns, check out https://www.verywellhealth.com/degrees-of-burns-1298906.