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Diwali, the festival of lights, is just around the corner, but the celebration may be different this year due to the ongoing pandemic. The Union Health Ministry has already issued detailed guidelines for celebrations amid the coronavirus pandemic. The ministry has strictly prohibited festive events in areas that fall under containment zones and advised people residing in such areas to observe festivals inside their homes. Governments of several states and Union territories have also decided to impose a ban on sale and use of firecrackers, considering the rising air pollution and coronavirus crisis in the country. This is a good move which will not just reduce air pollution, but risk of burns and injuries from bursting firecrackers.
Each year, India witnesses many cases of firecracker injuries during Diwali festival. Make sure your children stay away from firecrackers this Diwali. If you or anyone of your family member suffers burn while bursting firecrackers or handling hot liquids or flames, give first aid treatment immediately. Here are some best home remedies to treat mild (first-degree and second-degree) burn injuries.
If your hands get burnt with firecrackers on Diwali, immediately run cool (not cold) water over the affected area. Keep doing this for about 20 minutes. This will reduce the pain and prevent the burn from worsening and damaging deeper layers of skin. Then wash the burned area with a mild antibacterial soap and water to prevent infection.
Applying cool compress or placing clean wet cloth over the burn area can also ease pain and reduce swelling. But too much cold compress may irritate the burn more. Use it after 5- to 15-minute intervals.
If the burn has open blisters, apply antibiotic creams and ointments like Bacitracin or Neosporin. This will prevent infection in the wound and help the burn heal faster. After applying an antibiotic cream, cover up the burned area with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth. Make sure it is wrapped loosely.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, aloe vera is often called as the "burn plant." It can inhibit the growth of bacteria and promote circulation. Apply fresh aloe vera gel directly to the affected area to get the benefits. When buying aloe vera products, choose the ones that contain a high percentage of aloe vera and avoid those that have additives, like colouring and perfumes.
Honey is also known to have anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effects. Applying honey over the burn may help sterilize the area, prevent infection, soothe burned skin, and reduce pain. Apply honey to a bandage first, then place it over the burn.
Avoid exposing the burn to direct sunlight as much as possible. Wear loose-fitting clothing that covers the wound when outside in hot or sunny weather.
You may take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or naproxen to help reduce pain and swelling. Read the label for the correct dosage.
Note: Third- and fourth-degree burns should only be treated in a hospital. Such burns cause damage to all layers of the skin as well as joints and bones.
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