Magen David Adom issued guidelines for the kindling of
bonfires and the first aid treatment of burns. Magen David
relates that every year, children and youngsters are burned
because they don't know how to make bonfires and because they
use flammable fluids in order to light and fan them.
According to the guidelines of Magen Dovid Adom, wood may be
added to a burning bonfire very carefully, and only when the
wind is blowing from behind the person adding it. Adults
should keep a close watch on small children and make sure
that they remain at a safe distance from the bonfire. It is
recommended to use tree stumps or branches, and not flammable
fluids, in order to build up the fire.
A person whose clothing has caught fire should be laid on the
ground and rolled in the earth, or large amounts of water
should be poured over him in order to extinguish the fire.
The victim may also be covered with a wet blanket, his head
remaining exposed. While taking these measures, one should
call Magen David Adom at its emergency number: 101.
One should not remove or tear off charred clothing which had
clung to the victim in the area of the burn. Wet and cold
sterile compresses should be placed on the region of the
Burns over limited areas of the body should be cooled with
water immediately or else cooled by means of cold and damp
compresses (preferably sterile ones). Cloth handkerchiefs or
items of clothing soaked in water may also be used.
One should not pierce a blister or remove skin. By the same
token one should not spread creams or other substances on the
If a spark gets into someone's the eye, the eye should be
rinsed with a copious amount of cold water.
Children should wear shoes at bonfires, as well as long pants
and long-sleeved shirts, in order to protect their skin from
sparks, crawling animals and various reptiles which are
attracted to the light and the heat of the bonfire. Each
bonfire should be supervised by adults who should make
certain that water pails or containers, as well as up-to-date
first aid kits, are easily accessible.
A long-time activist in burn treatment from Bnei Brak, Mrs.
Silman (03-677-7146) adds, from her experience:
For emergency first aid for burns, immediately begin cooling
the burn, either directly with a stream of water or by
immersing in water, and continue cooling with cool
compresses. Ice can be added in the summer, from time to
time. Do this for many hours. (For chemical burns, cooling is
not necessary, but frequent washing/flushing is very
important to rid site of all residue.)
Very important: Do not let the victim turn blue from cold!
There is a serious danger of shock, so warm the rest of the
body with adequate clothing while keeping the injured areas
as cool as possible. In winter, it may be necessary to heat
the room. Monitor the patient for shivering.
Vitamin E or cold-pressed olive oil can be poured directly on
the wound, under the compresses.
Cooling the burns will help at any stage, even if not done at
once. The initial cooling after the burn should be done for
hours in order to be effective! The heat is still locked
inside the body and it continues to damage the tissues,
causing swelling, blisters, inflammation. Effective water
cooling can definitely prevent the need for skin grafts and
An even teaspoon of salt or a small amount of antiseptic can
be added to five cups of cold water (1 liter) for the
After a thorough cooling of several hours, a good portion of
the burns will shrink and even disappear, while the rest will
be more superficial. Typically, you will have reduced the
degree of the burns from third to second, or from second to
first. The pain will also have been considerably reduced.
BURNSHIELD (a commercial bandage product for burns) is also
an effective method of treatment. These pretreated bandages,
available at your pharmacy, should be in any medicine
cabinet. They should be changed every four hours.
After the initial first aid of cooling for many hours, the
patient may require oral antibiotics, salves, Vitamin E or
cold-pressed olive oil, or oral Vitamin C. His diet should
contain a great deal of proteins. Healthful milkshakes with
eggs and cream are recommended as well as zinc supplements.
Consult a trained person.
Cooling will continue to help relieve pain and lower the heat
of the burn. Wash frequently but do not scrape the burn, as
you will be removing the new tissue.
A segulah for healing, as brought in Pele
Yoetz, is to recite the pesukim of Bircas
Kohanim three times very fervently.
At this point, we would also like to warn mothers about their
hot water urn on the Shabbos hotplate. Secure them well. Make
sure they are not accessible to children. Make sure they will
not tip over easily, or that the spout will not catch on
clothing etc. The hospitals are too full of religious
children with hot water injuries!