TUESDAY, July 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Summer's the season for grilling outside, but mishaps can happen even to the most experienced grillmaster.
Before lighting up your grill, get up to speed on how to treat minor burns. It's also a good idea to learn how to recognize signs of a more serious injury, advised Dr. Sampson Davis, an emergency room physician at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in New Jersey.
"Although most burns can be treated at home, more serious burns can lead to infection, dehydration and even hypothermia, or the loss of body heat," he said.
There are three levels of burns. First degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin, causing redness, swelling and pain, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Second-degree burns damage the outer layer of skin as well as the layer underneath. These burns cause the same symptoms as second degree burns, along with blistering. Third-degree burns are the deepest and may burn or destroy down to the deepest layer of skin, as well as the tissues underneath.
Davis offered the following safety and first aid tips:
In some cases, burns may need to be treated in the emergency room. The following symptoms are warning signs of a more serious injury:
If a burn gets increasingly red, swollen and painful and if it begins to drain, seek immediate medical attention. These are symptoms of a serious skin infection, known as cellulitis.
Call 911 right away if the skin turns black or if blisters form on the face, genitals, or around the wrist, arm, leg or ankle.
Even if these symptoms are not present, certain burns still require evaluation by a doctor, such as burns to the face or genitals, burns that cover most of a hand or foot, second-degree burns covering a particularly large area, such as more than one arm or the size of the back.
The U.S. National Fire Protection Association provides more grilling safety tips.