All parents and those working with children should have some first aid training. Here are some quick refresher guideline for for injuries that generally no not need a doctor’s visit.
The ABC’s of First Aid are Airway, Bleeding, and Circulation. If the victim is breathing, not bleeding profusely, and their heart is beating correctly, don’t worry about those hurry up cases. Otherwise, use 1st aid training and call 911.
First Aid for a Wound
Next, we worry about the wounds. It is hard to tell about how serious a closed wound is (no break in the skin). It can be a bad bruise, a strain, a sprain, or a broken bone. Pain and swelling are indicators. “RICE” is the acronym for treatment of soft tissue. It stands for rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Ice can be cold compresses. Compression can be elastic bandage wraps for strains or sprains. Have the victim take weight off the arm, leg, or whatever is hurt, and raise it if possible. If pain is severe and doesn’t subside with ibuprofen or Tylenol in 24 hours, seek an x-ray. Cold can relieve some swelling. Let a child suck on ice or a Popsicle for a lip or mouth injury. Use an ice pack to prevent some bruising and swelling and relieve pain.
If the skin is broken on a wound, worry about is bleeding first . Apply direct firm pressure until the bleeding stops. If it is a small wound, you can use a Band-aid or a bandage with tape. Treat nose bleeds with pressure on the upper lip and pinched nose. Have the child put his head low between his legs and rest. Head injuries bleed a lot so don’t panic. If bleeding will not stop or the opening is larger than an inch, the victim may need stitches to close the skin.
Then ,when bleeding is stopped, worry about infection. Again if the wound is larger than an inch, it may need stitches. Clean the wound with soap and water carefully and then with rubbing alcohol. Bandage with clean bandages to keep dirt out. Change bandaging daily if the wound is larger and watch for swelling that could indicate infection. If the wound is smaller such as an abrasion, remove bandaging after a few days so air can help it dry and heal.
Puncture wounds are dangerous because germs can be embedded in tissue that can’t be cleaned out. Allow bleeding to cleanse it. You or your child should get a Tetanus booster if you have a puncture wound.
First aid for Burns
There are three degrees of burns. The first degree is red and painful. It often happens when a victim briefly touches a stove, fireplace, or burner. Treat this burn with immediate cold as in running cold water for several minutes. This can stop further burning of tissue and relieve pain. Do not use ice as tissue can be frozen. Leave the area uncovered or lightly cover it to protect from bumping and relieve pain.
The second degree burn adds blistering to pain and redness. This is caused by longer contact with heat. Sunburns can be 1st or 2nd degree. Again cool the area but do not put oil or butter on it as it can hold heat in the burn. Second degree burns take longer to heal. There are special ointments to cool the skin and help healing such as Lidocaide or alavera. Pain reliever may be needed.
The third degree burn is deep and causes brownness or blackness. There may be less pain as nerves are burnt. Visit a doctor to treat this burn. He/ she will prescribe antibiotics and special medication. It may leave scarring.
Use these tips help with the small cases and help prevent unnecessary doctor visits. You can make a First aid kit at home to save cost. They should include bandaging material, Band-aids, alcohol swabs, pain killers and makeshift sling material. Keep them in a clean dry container that you can take on a trip if necessary. Happy 1st Aiding.