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First Aid for Christmas : All I need to know about First Aid this festive period

December, as we all know is the last month of the year which clearly indicates that, the year has come to an end. It is a moment of joy and get-together. Families travel far and near for reunions. And as we all know, a crowded place makes room for accidents.

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH
JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

It's December once again. Hurray!!!

December, as we all know, is the last month of the year which clearly indicates that the year has come to an end. It is a moment of joy and get-together. Families travel far and near for reunions. And as we all know, a crowded place makes room for accidents. Children play around and become adventurous with friends and relatives. Sometimes these accidents are just inevitable. Hence, this article will show you how to go about such accidents, mitigate any pain, and eventually make your stay or holidays joyous and harmless.

First aid, as it name suggest, is the first or immediate and temporary treatment given to a victim of an accident or sudden illness. The primary aim of every first aid is to save a life. Other reasons for administering first aid is to alleviate pain or discomfort, make recovery easier and prevent the worsening of conditions. Accidents are unexpected, thus, we must be ready to tackle it when it happens with a first aid box or kit. Everyone should get one in the car and at home.

What should be in a first aid box and why

A first aid box is a box containing chemicals substances and items needed to treat minor accidents before a victim is sent to the hospital. First aid box can be purchased or prepared at home. However, every first aid box must contain the following:

First aid box


A booklet on basic first aid treatment.

Bandages made from clean strips of white cotton fabric.

Lint for covering cuts and wounds before bandaging them.

A clinical thermometer for taking temperature.

Pain delivering tablets such as paracetamol.

Antiseptic cream for cuts and wounds to prevent infection.

Antiseptic solutions such as Dettol.

Soap for washing hands before and administering the first aid or preferably gloves.

Smelling salt for resuscitation an unconscious patient by smelling it.

A pair of scissors for cutting.

Administering first aid is essential, but more importantly, is administering it properly to prevent the condition from getting worse. Let's get started...

Cuts or Wounds

Cuts are injury on the skin caused by contact with sharp objects such as knives, blades, cutlasses, broken bottles which cause damage to underlying tissues.

The first thing to do when a person gets a cut is to wash the injured part with cold water. This will stop bleeding and make the blood clot. Afterwards, wipe the injured part with an antiseptic to prevent bacteria and germs from getting into the wound.Now, cover it with a waterproof dressing such as a plaster.

Deep wound

Firstly, expose the injured part of the body and remove any foreign materials from the wound such as stones, broken items, etc. Apply pressure using a sterile pad to avoid infecting the wound while pressing it firmly. Position the injured part of the body above the heart to reduce the flow of blood to the site. Bandage the wound and carefully transport the victim to the hospital.

Burn

This is an injury or damage resulting from exposure to fire, heat, caustics or electricity. This happens mostly in the kitchen when we handle hots pans and pots with our bare hands. Touching hot irons may also result in serious burns. If this happens, this is what you should do:

Immediately place the injured part under slow running water or drown in cold water keeping it there for at least 5 minutes or more till the pain subsides. Note, do not cover the injured part with plaster as it may trap heat and delay healing. Nevertheless, if the burn is very serious, cover it with a clean cloth or dressing to omit air and prevent the formation of blisters.

Dislocation

Dislocation is the displacement or slip of one or more bones at a joint resulting in the tearing of the ligaments around the joint. Signs of a dislocated joint include pain, swelling, inability to move the joint normally, etc.

The victim must first sit down as you support the dislocated part with a straight object or anything appropriate. Bandage the dislocated part and immediately transport the victim to the clinic.

Shocks/Fainting

Fainting occurs when a person works in a poorly ventilated environment for long.

Carefully lay the victim down with the head lower than the rest of the body. Loosen the victim's clothes and cover the victim with a blanket. Immediately hold the smelling salt close to the nose to revive the victim. Later, send him or her to the hospital for better medical attention.

Electric shock

Hurriedly switch off the electric current before touching the person. Push the victim away from the appliance with a wooden ladle or stick. Give artificial respiration (mouth-to-mouth) if needed and seek medical help.

Food poisoning

It is the illness resulting from eating a contaminated food. It occurs within 1-36 hours after eating contaminated food. Symptoms include acute stomach ache, diarrhoea, vomiting, general body weakness and high temperature.

First of all,control the vomiting by avoiding solid foods. Next, prevent dehydration by drinking more fluids but if vomiting and diarrhoea last more than 24 hours, drink an Oral Rehydration Solution(ORS). If it continues after 48 hours,take the victim to a doctor.

Nose bleeding

Sit the patient down with the head forward. Next, loosen any tight clothing around the neck. Pinch the nose shut and let the victim breathe through the mouth. Note, do not allow the victim to talk or take in anything. Continue nose pinching and mouth breathing until the bleeding stops. Also, when the bleeding stops, prevent the victim from blowing his nose for at least four hours.

Snake bite

Snake bite is one of the most feared accidents that can happen. Just imagining it can make us sick but we have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Have you ever encountered one before? How did you handle the situation?

If a relative or neighbour gets bitten by a snake, this is what you should do.

1. Keep the victim still to reduce the circulation of the venom. This is when you have to comfort and reassure the person that everything is going to be all right.

More than 50 % of snakes are not venomous. A venomous snake can be identified by examining the marks from the bite. If the snake is not venomous, it will leave marks of 2 rows of teeth but no fang marks, venomous snakes leave 2 deep marks of fangs.

2. Tie a bandage above the the bitten spot to prevent flow of blood to other parts.

3. Wash the bite spot well with soap and water and cover the spot with ice bag.

4. If possible, identify the type of snake to help in treatment. Some people suggest that the head of the snake should be cut off and carried to the hospital. What do you think?

5. Take the victim to the hospital.

Accidents occur when we least expect. Many injuries and sudden illnesses that lead to serious health complications and sometimes death could have been first handled with first aid to prevent these adversities from happening.

Had I known is always at last. Know your first aid techniques and save a life.

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the little knowledge she has acquired.