Hot sugar, lollipops and first aid

Yesterday Mark decided to make some lollipops. I was sitting in the office and suddenly our house filled with a lovely sweet aroma. Of course I had to go and check it out. As it ended up it was just a perfect time for pouring lollipops. So Mark tasked me with the “easy job” of placing the sticks into them… as it ended up the job wasn’t so easy after all. I really have no idea what I was thinking but I stick my finger into a freshly poured scorching hot lollipop in order to position the stick. This was the end of the lollipops… My finger was burning like hell and all attention was on me…

I did learn two very valuable lessons:

1. Do NOT stick your finger into hot sugar, it sticks and burns like lava

2. Do NOT keep it in cold water for ages… longer you keep it under cold water, more painful it will be once you take it out

You have to admit, not a pretty picture
You have to admit, not a pretty picture

So just in case one you will have a “clever” idea like I had, some basic information about burns and scalds.

Appropriate first aid must be used to treat any burns or scalds as soon as possible. This will limit the amount of damage to your skin.

You may need to apply the following first aid techniques to yourself or to another person who has been burnt.

First aid for burns

  • Stop the burning process as soon as possible. This may mean removing the person from the area, dousing flames with water or smothering flames with a blanket. Do not put yourself at risk of getting burnt as well.
  • Remove any clothing or jewellery near the burnt area of skin. However, don’t try to remove anything that is stuck to the burnt skin because this could cause more damage.
  • Cool the burn with cool or lukewarm water for 10–30 minutes, ideally within 20 minutes of the injury occurring. Never use ice, iced water or any creams or greasy substances, such as butter.
  • Keep yourself or the person warm. Use a blanket or layers of clothing, but avoid putting them on the injured area. Keeping warm will prevent hypothermia, when a person’s body temperature drops below 35C (95F). This is a risk if you are cooling a large burnt area, particularly in young children and elderly people.
  • Cover the burn with cling film. Put the cling film in a layer over the burn, rather than wrapping it around a limb. A clean, clear plastic bag can be used for burns on your hand.
  • Treat the pain from a burn with paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions when using over-the-counter (OTC) medication. Children under 16 years of age should not be given aspirin.

Electrical burns

Electrical burns may not look serious, but they can be very damaging. Someone who has an electrical burn should seek immediate medical attention at an A&E department.

If the person has been injured by a low-voltage source (up to 220–240 volts) such as a domestic electricity supply, safely switch off the power supply or remove the person from the electrical source using a non-conductive material. This is a material that does not conduct electricity, such as a wooden stick or a wooden chair.

Do not approach a person who is connected to a high-voltage source (1,000 volts or more).

Chemical burns

Chemical burns can be very damaging and require immediate medical attention at an A&E department.

If possible, find out what chemical caused the burn and tell the healthcare professionals at A&E.

If you are helping someone else, wear appropriate protective clothing, then:

  • remove any clothing that has the chemical on it from the person who has been burnt
  • if the chemical is dry, brush it off their skin
  • use running water to remove any traces of the chemical from the burnt area

Sunburn

In cases of sunburn, follow the advice below:

  • If you notice any signs of sunburn, such as hot, red and painful skin, move into the shade or preferably inside.
  • Take a cool bath or shower to cool down the burnt area of skin.
  • Apply after-sun lotion to the affected area to moisturise, cool and soothe it. Do not use greasy or oily products.
  • If you have any pain, paracetamol or ibuprofen should help relieve it. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and do not give aspirin to children under 16 years of age.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, when the temperature inside your body rises to 37–40°C (98.6–104°F) or above. Symptoms include dizziness, a rapid pulse or vomiting.

If a person with heat exhaustion is taken quickly to a cool place, given water to drink and has their clothing loosened, they should start to feel better within half an hour. If they don’t, they could develop heatstroke. This is a medical emergency and you’ll need to call 999 for an ambulance.

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So I hope you can learn from my outbreak of being a muppet (Marks words). The kitchen looks like a wonderful place of exotic things, but it is in reality a vortex of danger and inevitable pain and discomfort, or is that just me?

Anyway Mark has banned me from our kitchen for the rest of the week.

10 thoughts on “Hot sugar, lollipops and first aid

  1. Call me ignorant, but I made candy for the first time about a week ago and was shocked by just how hot it got! I was hurriedly reaching for an oven mitt to avoid burning myself on the hot candy thermometer. I’m sorry you got hurt, but it seems like you have lots of great ideas for home remedies for burns!

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