Cuts, scrapes, bumps and bruises are a fact of life. While you should seek emergency medical attention if you or a family member is seriously injured, many minor incidents can be treated at home using basic first aid. You never know when an accident might happen, so a basic first aid reminder is always a good thing.
Cuts and Scrapes
Slips, falls and other accidents commonly result in cuts and scrapes, which may bleed. The most effective way to stop bleeding is to apply pressure to the affected area using a clean towel or sterile gauze. Continue to hold the pressure until the bleeding stops, and seek medical attention for deep cuts — they may require stitches and special attention to prevent infection.
Use hydrogen peroxide (not rubbing alcohol) to treat cuts and skin injuries. Top it off with antibiotic gels or ointments, and keep healing wounds covered with a Band-Aid.
You can relieve minor burns by soaking affected skin in cool running water, or using a cold compress to reduce irritation. Antiseptic sprays with cooling action can also be used if the burn continues to be painful.
The rule of thumb with burns is this: if a blister forms, you should see your doctor. Severe burns are a medical emergency, so head to the hospital right away if you or a family member suffers a particularly nasty burn.
A sprain is a type of injury that occurs when a joint is extended beyond its usual range of motion. They can be very painful, so be sure to follow these important steps:
- Treat the sprained area with ice or a cold compress as quickly as possible to help keep swelling under control
- If you have a sprained arm, wrist, ankle or leg, keep the limb or appendage elevated
- See your doctor as soon as possible; most sprains, even ones that seem minor, require medical assessment
Insect Stings and Bites
If your child has been stung by a bee for the first time, watch carefully for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face or lips, the sudden appearance of hives, breathing problems and a fever. Allergic reactions to insect bites and stings are an urgent medical emergency.
In the absence of an allergic reaction, begin by picking out the stinger if you can see it. Then, apply ice to prevent swelling, keep the affected area elevated, and apply a cream or ointment containing topical antihistamines. It’s also not a bad idea to administer oral antihistamines, just to be on the safe side.
Calgary Home Insurance: Recognizing the Signs of a Heart Attack
Studies show that most heart attacks occur at home, and knowing how to recognize the early signs and symptoms could save your life, or the life of a loved one.
The most common heart attack symptoms include:
- Sudden chest pain that feels like your heart is being squeezed
- Trouble breathing
- Changes in skin colour (skin can become either flush or very pale)
- Pain in the jaw
- Clammy skin and/or cold sweats
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Note that symptoms sometimes differ among men and women. For example, women often experience fatigue, sleepiness, gastric disturbances and flu-like symptoms, while men may not. As a general rule of thumb, any continuous chest pain, whether mild or severe, should be considered a possible medical emergency and treated as such.
More First Aid Safety Tips
You should always keep a well-stocked first aid kit in your home. If you’re not sure which contents to include, consult this helpful Canadian Red Cross website. It’s also not a bad idea to undergo first aid training, especially if you have young children. You can search for local courses here.
Older people need to be especially cautious about their health and safety, so if you’re reaching retirement age, or if your parents or in-laws are living with you, take the time to review these important precautionary tips.
Calgary Home Insurance: Competitive Prices and Great Service from Lane’s Insurance
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