ST JOHN Ambulance, the volunteer-lead health charity, has teamed up with the Gazette to bring you some simple summer first aid tips.

This week, unit manager Joshua Hensman, takes us through what to do to treat sunburn.

The basics

Sunburn is caused by too much exposure to the sun, a sunlamp or a sunbed.

You can prevent getting sunburn by covering up with light clothing, staying in the shade and regularly applying high factor sunscreen. 

What to look for:

• Reddened skin 

• Pain in the area of the burn 

• Later, blistering may appear.

What to do

1. Cover the casualty’s skin with lightweight clothing. Move them out of the sun, into the shade, or indoors if possible

2. Encourage them to keep taking sips of cold water

3. You can cool the skin by sponging it gently with cold water. If the burn is large you could soak the sore skin in a cold bath or shower for 10 minutes

4. For mild sunburn, calamine lotion or after-sun lotion may help to soothe. Advise the casualty to stay inside or in the shade. If the sunburn is severe, for example with blistering, they should seek medical advice The casualty could also suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Be prepared to treat if necessary.

  • For more free first aid advice go to St John Ambulance’s website or download the free first aid app from your app store.
  • For information about volunteering with St John Ambulance in Basingstoke, please contact Joshua Hensman on email