Jeremy very kindly shared this article with us for our Christmas 2017 edition, but the advice around burns and how to treat them was so helpful we wanted to ensure people could read it at any time. Afterall, we don’t just cook dinner on Christmas Day do we! We were particularly surprised by the myth-busting at the bottom of the article and the length of time needed to cool the burn…

Written by Jeremy Hinchliffe

Christmas can be the most magical time of year when we gather with friends and family to celebrate and share presents, have fun and enjoy ourselves. Sometimes, however, things can go a bit wrong so here’s a quick tip for you for a very common domestic injury – the cooking burn!

Get a burn whilst getting stuff out of the oven, that lovely blistered one across the wrist or, perhaps, hot water splashes all over your hand whilst straining the veg?

The mistake we all make is we don’t cool it enough. Usually, we give it a quick splash under the tap and then get on with food and wonder why, 6 weeks, later, it still hurts like mad. The answer is simple – you didn’t cool it enough. Food can wait.

That burn needs an absolute minimum of 10 minutes under cold running water. Just as much as you can overcook your turkey,  if you don’t cool the burn it will keep on cooking and causing more and more damage. Cool it, cool it, cool it!

Remove any loose clothing from near the affected area and if you have clothing stuck to it then off to A & E with you, don’t try to take it off as you’ll take the skin with it.

Cling film can make a good dressing but only once you’ve got the heat & pain out of the burn.

For major burns then you must call an ambulance immediately!

Oh, and the following items do  NOT cool a burn, they will all make matters worse so don’t use them:

  • butter
  • lard
  • olive oil
  • toothpaste
  • egg white
  • cucumber
  • kiwi fruit
  • strawberries
  • potatoes
  • yogurt
  • Vaseline
  • After-sun lotion
  • Aloe Vera based products
  • Sudacream
  • E45


About the First Aid Team

Jeremy & Fiona Hinchliffe both qualified as First Aiders over 30 years ago and have both been involved in training in a number of fields over the years. Not only do they teach First Aid but they also regularly put it into practice; covering events ranging from school sports days to rugby festivals. They work with a small, select group of trainers, many of whom are medically trained, ambulance personnel or active event First Aiders, and all of whom hold current DBS certificates.