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15 Every Day Injuries and How to Treat Them

Written: 11/14/2007

A cut here, a bruise there, a nosebleed,... Life is filled with bumps, bruises that may not require a trip to the emergency room, but still require some care to feel better. Further, without the proper treatment, even something as minor as a papercut has the potential to become serious (if it became infected, for instance). So here is a guide to make your day as safe as possible.

  1. Cuts & Scrapes

    • Use a clean cloth or bandage and press it on the cut with a little pressure.

  2. After the bleeding has stopped, rinse the wound with plain water and use tweezers to remove any debris.

  3. Apply an ointment on the wound to prevent infection.

  4. Cover the wound with a bandage to help keep it clean. Change the bandage daily or whenever it gets wet or dirty.

  5. Be on the lookout for signs of infections like redness or swelling and immediately go to see your doctor if you see any of this.

  6. Burns and scalds

    • This is only for first degree burns. For other burns, please see your doctor immediately.

  7. First degree burns damage the outer layer of the skin only. First degree burns are usually associated with redness, mild pain and swelling.

  8. Remove all clothing, jewellery and watches from the burned area unless it is sticking to the skin.

  9. Plunge the burned area into cold water, or hold it under a cold running tab for 10 minutes or until the pain stops or lessens.

  10. Gently blot the burnt area. Do not rub. Rubbing may break the skin and open it to infection.

  11. Cover with a clean, dry and sterile gauze dressing for protection.

  12. NOTE: Never put butter or greasy ointments on a burn. They seal heat into the wound and may cause infection.

  13. Always seek medical advice if the victim is a child or an elderly person, the burn covers more than one part of the body or the burns are caused by chemicals.

  14. Sunburn

    • The best treatment for sunburn is prevention. Mild sunburn results in skin irritation and redness and can be safely treated at home. Severe sunburn requires medical attention.

  15. Apply cool compresses on the sunburnt areas.

  16. Drink a lot of water.

  17. Leave blisters intact to speed healing and avoid infection.

  18. Make sure all the sunburnt areas are fully covered to avoid the sun rays.

  19. More than 90% of skin cancers are the result of sun exposure. Unprotected sun exposure is even more dangerous for kids who have moles or freckles, very fair skin or hair or a family history of skin cancer.

  20. Call a doctor if your child has a sunburn that forms blisters or is extremely painful, facial swelling from a sunburn, fever or chills after getting sunburnt, headache, confusion or a feeling of faintness, signs of dehydration (increased thirst or dry eyes and mouth) or signs of infections on the skin (increasing redness, warmth, pain or pus).

  21. Remember the following words before going out! Slip Slap Slop! Slip on a shirt. Slap on a sunglass. Slop on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.

  22. Nosebleed

    • Lie down and tilt your head forwards to allow the blood to drain from your nostrils.

  23. Breathe through your mouth and to pinch through the soft part of your nose to stop the bleeding.

  24. Do not speak, swallow, cough, spit or sniff because this may disturb blood clots that may have formed in the nose.

  25. Release the pressure after 10 minutes. If the bleeding has not stopped, reapply a pressure on the soft part of your nose for a further 10 minutes.

  26. After that, clean your nose with warm water.

  27. Take a rest and avoid blowing your nose.

  28. If the bleeding stops and restarts after a lapse of time, apply the pressure as shown above.

  29. Note: Do not tilt the head back; blood may run down the throat and induce vomiting.

  30. Severe Bleeding

    • Note: This applies only to bleeding from the arm or leg. If you are bleeding from the head or chest, better seek medical advice.

  31. Lie down and if possible raise the injured part to reduce the flow of blood to the wound.

  32. Press hard on the wound with a clean pad. If the wound is gaping, hold its edges together firmly.

  33. If there is a foreign body in the wound (e.g. glass), apply pressure alongside.

  34. Take a firm pad and bind it firmly over the whole wound so that pressure is maintained (a scarf or tie can be used).

  35. If blood soaks through the bandage, do not remove it. Instead, continue to apply pressure to the wound for 7-10 minutes.

  36. Sprain

    • Rest your injured limb and don't use the joint directly (if you sprained your ankle, for instance, use a crutch or a splint to protect the sprain).

  37. Apply an ice-pack wrapped in a cloth to the area as soon as possible to reduce swelling.

  38. Use an elastic bandage to compress the area.

  39. Keep your limb elevated as much as possible to limit swelling.

  40. If the sprain doesn't get better in a couple of days, you experience severe pain, or you're unable to use your joint at all, seek medical treatment.

  41. Black eye

    • Apply an ice-pack to your eye area gently (do not press on your eye).

  42. Use the ice-pack immediately after the injury, if possible, and continue to apply the pack for one or two days to reduce swelling.

  43. If you have severe pain, vision problems, or blood in your eye or nose, seek medical help.

  44. Spider bite

    • Clean the area with soap and water.

  45. Apply a cool washcloth to the bite location.

  46. Apply an anti-itch cream to the area to eliminate itching and promote healing.

  47. If you experience chills, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, rash or listlessness, you may have been bitten by a poisonous spider, such as a black widow spider or a brown recluse spider. You should seek medical help immediately.

  48. Bee Sting

    • Remove the stinger by scraping it with a credit card or other flat-edged object (don't use tweezers, as these can increase the amount of venom released).

  49. Wash the area with soap and water.

  50. Place an ice-pack, wrapped in a cloth, on the site for 10 minutes. Wait 10 minutes more without the pack, then reapply the ice for another 10 minutes.

  51. Apply an anti-itch cream to the area to eliminate itching and promote healing.

  52. Foreign object in the eye

      Under The Eyelid

    • Pull the upper lid over the lower one.

    • Dislodge the object by blinking under the water.

    • Floating on the white of the eye

    • Advise the victim not to rub his/her eye.

    • Ask him/her to sit down facing a light, so that you will be able to see into the
      eye clearly.

    • Using your finger and thumb, gently pull the eyelids of the injured eye apart.

    • When you see the foreign body causing the irritation, wash it out with clean water (sterile if available) using a glass.

    • If the foreign body has not moved, try to lift if off with a moist swab, or the dampened corner of a tissue or handkerchief.

    • Note: If it is embedded in the eye or there are chemicals in the eye, seek medical advice.

    • Foreign body in the ear

      • Note: If the foreign body is lodged in place, DO NOT attempt the move it (object may be pushed further in).

    • Sit the victim down.

    • Gently pour tepid water into the ear until it floods, carrying the object out.

    • If this does not work, take him/her to the hospital.

    • Toothache

      • Use dental floss to remove any food particles wedged between your teeth.

    • Take an over-the-counter (OTC) pain reliever to dull the ache.

    • Don't place aspirin or another painkiller directly against your gums, as it may burn your gum tissue.

    • Brush your teeth regularly.

    • Go to a dentist if the pain persists for more than a day or two, you have fever with the toothache or you have trouble breathing or swallowing.

    • Frostbite

      • Get out of the cold.

    • Warm your hands by tucking them under your arms. If your nose, ears or face is frostbitten, warm the area by covering it with dry, gloved hands.

    • Don't rub the affected area. Never rub snow on frostbitten skin.

    • Get emergency medical help if numbness remains during warming. If you can't get help immediately, warm severely frostbitten hands or feet in warm — not hot — water.

    • Choking

      • Perform the Heimlich maneuver to try to remove the object.

      On someone else

    • Stand behind the person. Wrap your arms around the waist. Tip the person forward slightly.

    • Make a fist with one hand. Position it slightly above the person's navel.

    • Grasp the fist with the other hand. Press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust — as if trying to lift the person up.

    • Repeat until the blockage is dislodged.

    • On yourself

    • Place a fist slightly above your navel.

    • Grasp your fist with the other hand and bend over a hard surface — a countertop or chair will do.

    • Shove your fist inward and upward.

    • Motion sickness

      • By ship, request a cabin in the forward or middle of the ship, or on the upper deck.

    • By plane, ask for a seat over the front edge of a wing. Once aboard, direct the air vent to your face.

    • By train, take a seat near the front and next to a window. Face forward.

    • By automobile, drive or sit in the front passenger's seat.

    • Focus on the horizon or on a distant, stationary object. Don't read.

    • Keep your head still, resting against a seat back.

    • Don't smoke or sit near smokers.

    • Avoid spicy foods and alcohol. Don't overeat.

    • Eat dry crackers or drink a carbonated beverage to help settle your stomach if you become ill.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, emergency treatment or formal first-aid training. Don't use this information to diagnose or develop a treatment plan for a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified health care provider. If you're in a life-threatening or emergency medical situation, seek medical assistance immediately.

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