Student Web Activity

Chapter 20 Lesson 5: Treating Burns


Burns are a common kind of injury. As with all injuries, it is important to know what kind of first aid may be required if you ever have to treat someone with a burn. On the Web site below, you will learn about the various kinds of burns and how to help someone with one.

Link to explore: Mayo Clinic:


  • Start at the Mayo Clinic First Aid Index Web site.
  • Click on and read the “Burns,” “Electrical burns,” and “Sunburn” links.
  • Take notes as you read.
  • When you are done reading, answer the questions below.
  • Finally, using the information from the link, create your own First Aid Guide to Burns.


  1. What is the first step in determining how serious a burn is?
  1. What are the three classifications of burns?
  1. What are the four things you should do to help a person with a first or second degree burn?
  1. Why can electrical burns be so serious?
  1. When should you see a doctor when you have sunburn?


  1. To distinguish a minor burn from a serious burn, the first step is to determine the degree and the extent of damage to body tissues.
  1. The three classes of burns are:
    1. First degree – the least serious in which only the first layer of skin has been burned.
    2. Second degree – in which the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin is also burned, producing blisters.
    3. Third degree – the most serious, which involve all layers of the skin.
  1. To help someone with a first or second degree burn:
    1. Cool the burn.
    2. Consider a lotion.
    3. Cover the burn with a sterile gauze pad.
    4. Take an over the counter pain reliever.
    5. Do not use ice.
    6. Do not break blisters.
  1. The damage caused by electrical burns can extend deep into the tissues beneath the skin. If a strong electrical current passes through the body, internal damage to organs, irregular heart rhythm, or cardiac arrest can occur.
  1. If your sunburn begins to blister or if you experience immediate complications, such as rash, itching or fever, see your doctor.
Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some additional Web sites that offer information on treating burns. You might also want to talk about how to treat chemical burns.

  1. Teen Health:
  2. Family Doctor:
  3. Adventure Network:
  4. E-How: