During the summer, families spend much more time outside and also seem to be much more active. This is a good thing, but it also means that accidents and boo-boos have a great chance of occurring. As long as you can keep your cool, these typical ailments don’t have to mean the end of fun for the rest of the day, and they don’t have to lead to a trip to the ER.
Below are 5 common scenarios where first aid needs to be administered, as well as how to handle them and when a trip to the doctor may be required.
Bee or Wasp Stings
If you can see the stinger, scrape across your skin with a credit card to remove it in one piece. Clean the skin and apply antibiotic ointment. Ice will help reduce swelling and numb the pain. You may also want to take an antihistamine for swelling and itching, as well as some ibuprofen for the pain.
Head to the ER When: There are any signs of an allergic reaction like trouble breathing, feeling faint and a rash or itching over your entire body.
Cuts and Scrapes
Cuts always get to me because of the blood…I don’t do blood very well. The best thing to do if your child has a cut that’s bleeding is to wash the area with soap and running water to remove debris and bacteria. Apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding, dab on antibiotic cream and cover the cut with a bandage so it stays moist. Apply the ointment and change the bandage daily.
Head to the ER When: The bleeding doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t stop after 10 minutes or the cut is deep and gaping (it won’t close/stop bleeding even with pressure applied.)
You’re out enjoying an afternoon barbeque, and often times, food can be left out in the heat too long, which is just food poisoning waiting to happen. If you have symptoms like diarrhea, nausea or vomiting, you may have food poisoning. You can drink sports drinks, which replace electrolytes, to help. Try taking Pepto-Bismol to help with any of these symptoms, and rest.
Head to the ER When: You are dehydrated or unable to keep liquids down. Symptoms of dehydration include: dry mouth, dark urine, dizziness, and rapid heartbeat.
If you’ve been hiking or playing in the great outdoors and notice that your skin is red and swollen and then see small, itchy bumps or blisters, you just might have a case of poison ivy. Wash your skin with mild soap immediately, shower and apply calamine lotion to the affected area.
Head to the ER When: You display signs like trouble breathing or have a fever. If the rash is swollen or oozing, it may mean that it is infected, and you should see a doctor.
Take a cool shower or bath, and apply aloe vera gel or lotion to keep skin hydrated. Drink lots of water as well.
Head to the ER When: You notice signs of heatstroke (trouble breathing, high fever, confusion, racing pulse or vomiting.)