There are many causes of burns on farms. These include burns from friction, heat, sun, chemicals, equipment and fuels.

Some causes of burns include UV radiation (sunburn), flame, radiant heat, hot liquids or gases, electricity, fuels and certain chemicals. The cause of the burn will determine the category of the burn.

There are several categories of burns

  • Dry/wet burns – flames & scalds
  • Chemical burns
  • Electrical burns
  • Mouth/throat/inhalation burns
  • Radiation burns
  • Molten substances/plastics/metals and bitumen burns

All deep burns need emergency medical care and the management of the burn will vary depending on the category of the burn. General management involves: Applying cool running water over the burn site for 20 minutes, or until the skin has cooled. Do not break blisters, do not apply ointments or oils. Cover the area with a sterile/ clean non fluffy dressing. Arrange urgent medical assistance

Major burns are a medical emergency and require urgent medical attention. In some cases, skin graft surgery is needed.

Always call triple zero Tel 000 for major burns. You will be given advice over the phone on how to manage the burn,

For more information on (Burns and Scalds)

References used for this topic page

More information:
Better Health Channel
Raising Children – The Australian Parenting Website
St John Ambulance NSW
Better Health Channel
Clinical care:
Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
St John Ambulance Australia
Research & reviews:
American Academy of Pediatrics
World Health Organization (WHO)

Fast facts:


  • Major burns are a medical emergency.
  • Burns can be caused by sun exposure, fire, hot liquids, chemicals, electricity and lightning.
  • Apply cool running water over the burn site for 20 minutes or until the skin has cooled.
  • Call triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately if someone experiences a major burn.

Last updated: 24th, November 2016