It can happen at the campfire, near the RV’s outdoor grill, or inside your rig with the microwave oven. It can happen as you relax on the beach or as you work on your truck. What is it? A burn. It’s important to know some basic first aid treatments for burns, especially when you’re camping.
Along with knowing what to do it’s also a good idea to carry basic burn treatment items inside your RV. These include:
- aloe vera or antibiotic cream
- adhesive tape
- pain reliever
Note: The Mayo Clinic says, “If the burn covers more skin than the size of the palm of your hand it needs medical attention.” If in doubt, always seek a doctor’s help.
Most first-degree or minor burns are caused by heat, steam, fire, and sunlight. These minor burns can be treated at your campsite.
Here’s how to treat a burn:
- Remove any jewelry, shoes, or clothing that may be difficult to remove should swelling occur. (Note: Do not remove clothing that sticks to the burn!)
- Run cool (not cold) water over the burn for at least 20 minutes. This will stop the burning and help to reduce pain and swelling.
- Gently dry the affected area, being careful not to tear or damage the burned skin.
- Apply aloe vera or antibiotic cream to prevent infection.
- Loosely apply a sterile, dry gauze to the burn and secure it with tape.
Note: We haven’t tried this burn treatment, but it’s the most highly rated burn gel on the market. Check it out – you might want to add it to your first aid kit.
First-degree or minor burns usually heal within a week. Do not pop any blisters that appear as the burn heals. This will open the wound to potential infection.
No one wants an unexpected burn injury to spoil a camping trip. Most burns can be avoided.
Here’s how to avoid burns outside:
- Keep a bucket of water near your campfire. That way you can more quickly and easily douse the fire if the wind unexpectedly picks up or changes direction.
- Never use an accelerant to start a campfire. Keep your fires small.
- Closely monitor all outside fires, including the BBQ grill. It’s best to clear the area surrounding the fire source from sticks and rocks that could cause a person to trip and fall. Also, clear the area of leaves and/or other items that might accidentally ignite.
- Any grilling/cooking utensils should feature long, insulated handles that keep hands well away from the heat source.
- Closely monitor children. Teach them about fire safety (stop, drop, roll). Do not allow any horseplay near any kind of heat source or fire.
- Keep pets a safe distance away from heat sources.
- Always thoroughly douse your campfire, stir the coals, and douse again before going to bed or leaving the campfire site.
And here’s how to avoid burns inside:
- Keep children and pets well away from the cooktop and oven when in use.
- Reduce the chance of steam burns by covering food before placing it inside the microwave. When food is cooked, carefully remove the cover while wearing oven mitts, allowing the steam to safely escape. Always use microwave-safe plates and bowls.
- Closely monitor children and pets when using a portable heater or the RV’s fireplace.
- Test food and water temperatures before use.
- Store lighters, matches, etc. out of children’s reach or in a locked area. Teach little ones that matches and lighters are not toys.
- Extinguish all candles and cigarettes before leaving the room.
- Keep fresh batteries in all smoke detectors and test them frequently.
- Always keep a fire extinguisher in the galley, the bedroom, and in your rig’s unlocked storage compartment.
Stay safe! Happy camping!