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How to Treat a Fireworks Burn

Handled properly, fireworks can be a safe form of entertainment. But sometimes accidents happen, so be prepared.


  • Step 1: Determine the severity of the burn Determine how severe the burn is. Burns smaller than a person's palm can be treated at home. Larger burns or burns to the face, genitals, or major joints should be treated at a hospital.
  • Step 2: Smother flames Smother flames on a large burn with water or a blanket. Stop, drop, and roll if your clothes are on fire and call 911 immediately.
  • TIP: Do not attempt to pull burnt clothing off skin. This can cause more damage.
  • Step 3: Submerge the wound Submerge smaller burns in cool -- not cold -- water for at least five minutes. Cover the wound with a clean, dry cloth or a sterile bandage.
  • Step 4: Soothe the burn Apply skin lotion to soothe the burn only if the wound is not weeping fluid or freshly scabbed. Don't apply ice or butter to the wound.
  • TIP: Wait to apply salve or medicine to the area until after visiting the doctor.
  • Step 5: Take cool showers Take frequent cool showers or baths to soothe the area.
  • Step 6: Relieve the pain Relieve the pain from a burn by taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • FACT: According to a 2006 report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 47 percent of fireworks injuries were to children and adults under 20 years old.

You Will Need

  • Cool water
  • Blanket
  • Dry towel
  • Bandages
  • Skin lotion
  • Pain relievers

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