Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime and none of us can avoid them, but we can surely prepare ourselves to be able to face any adverse situations. However, what usually happens is only a handful of people are able to maintain their composure at time of distress. Following are certain handy first aid tips which could not only save time but also guide a person on countering any emergency situation. These tips are also based on the rich experiences of a number of parents.
First aid for Falls
If the injury looks of a serious nature, like if your toddler or child’s bone seems to be dislocated, or she or he have lost consciousness, then take her to the nearest hospital immediately or call a doctor. Meanwhile try to keep the affected person warm, and avoid any sort of movements.
Treatment for Cuts
If there is bleeding, press a clean cloth firmly on the cut until the bleeding stops. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop, try reaching a hospital immediately for it might be a deep cut requiring stitching. In case if it’s a cut from a rusty tool, or the person has had a fall on the road, a tetanus shot is necessary. Consult your doctor for advice and for proper care.
If a child swallows something like beads of a necklace or a pin etc. but doesn’t appear distressed, immediately consult your doctor for advice. It’s been proven that most objects pass through a child’s body without causing any harm, while some do require surgical help. If a child has something stuck in his throat, don’t put your finger into the mouth, if you do, you risk pushing it even further down the throat. The best alternative is to turn the child upside down, slap them firmly between the shoulder blades until the object pops out.
Bites and Stings
It is always safest to take the person to a doctor immediately after he or she is bitten by an animal. If it’s a sting and you can see it, try scraping or pulling it off with a tweezer. A sting which causes a lot of swelling needs a doctor’s attention.
Foreign Bodies in Eyes, Ears and Nose
Never attempt to remove anything that is lodged in the eye of a child. Try an eye bath first with an eye cup placed firmly on the eye. If the problem still persists, take him to a doctor or a hospital immediately. The same goes for anything stuck in the ear or nose. Insects trapped in the ear can sometime be coaxed out by shining a torch into the ear.
Turn off the source of electricity immediately. If this cannot be done, stand on a thick pile of newspapers, a rubber mat or a wooden box and push the person away from the point of contact with a wooden brush or broom. Never use anything damp or metallic. Place the unconscious person on a comfortable bed and call an ambulance.
Dealing with Burns and Scalds
What really happens in the case of a burn or scald is that the heat not only affects the surface skin but also penetrates below and damages the blood vessels. The vessels, in turn, react by dilating and letting the clear colourless liquid of the blood ooze out through their walls. The liquid puffs up the dead skin and forms a blister.
In a serious degree burn, where the skin is destroyed completely, the fluid is discharged from the raw flesh. The loss of this colourless liquid is a form of bleeding, which reduces the total volume of fluid in the body. This is why burns and scalds often lead to shock and hospitals treat them with drip fluid replacements.
For a low degree burn, place the scalded area under running water or place ice cubes on the affected area. The cold water not only reduces the heat but also eases the pain. Cover the area with a non-fluffy cloth – a handkerchief is the safest bet. If it is a serious degree burn, then take the person to a doctor at once. Applying toothpaste immediately on the burned area helps relieve pain and minimises development of boils.
It is especially important for parents to be familiar with first aid information and it would be a good idea to keep a first aid kit at home so it can be used in case of an accident. The tips listed above are standard first aid tips and are easy to follow. Stay tuned for more tips on dealing with burns and scalds in our next blog post.