Page:Guide to health.djvu/142

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Chapter XI


Burns and Scalds

Very often when a man's clothes catch fire, we get into a panic, and, instead of helping the injured, make matters worse by our ignorance. It is our duty, therefore, to know exactly what to do in such cases.

The person whose clothes have caught fire should not lose his presence of mind. If the fire is only at one edge of the cloth, it should at once be squeezed out with the hands; but if it has spread over the whole cloth or a large portion of it, the man should at once lie down and roll on the floor. If a thick cloth like a carpet be available, it should at once be wrapped round his body; and if water is at hand, it should also be poured over it. As soon as the fire has been put out, we should find out if there are burns in any part of the body. The cloth would generally stick to the body where there are burns, in which case it should not be forcibly torn off, but gently snipped off with a piece of scissors, leaving the affected parts undisturbed, and taking care to see that the skin does not come off. Immediately after this, poultices of pure mud should be applied to all these places, and kept in position by bandages. This will instantly relieve the burning, and ease the patient's suffering. The