5 Summer First Aid Tips
From time to time all of that fun in the sun can lead to injuries, no matter how careful you may be. However, with a little planning and preparation you can have what you need on hand should anything go wrong. Check out these simple solutions to some of summer’s most common ailments.
- Poison ivy pain remedy. Treatment for a poison ivy rash is pretty simple. If you know you have been exposed to poison ivy wash your hands with soap and water immediately to avoid a break out. If it’s too late for that, soak the area in a cool bath with oatmeal to reduce the itching. Dry off gently and apply calamine lotion to the infected area. Make sure to wash everything that came into contact with the plant or your rash, including clothes, shoes, jacket, pets, and sheets. If the rash starts oozing or if there is any swelling, seek a physician immediately as this may indicate an allergic reaction.
- Bee sting treatment. The first thing you need to do when you or your child is stung by a bee is remove the stinger from the site of the sting. Do this carefully using the edge of a credit card to scrape it out of the skin. Try not to push any more of the venom into the skin. Once the stinger is out, you can apply a paste of baking soda or meat tenderizer and water and let that paste pull out the venom. Leave the paste on for 20 to 30 minutes. Hold a cold compress on the injured area to take some of the pain away. Apply a topical hydrocortisone cream to the area to relieve the pain. Slight swelling of the area is common, but if severe swelling occurs or if breathing becomes labored and difficult head to the nearest emergency room.
- Solutions for swimmer’s ear. Often swimming frequently will lead to a condition known as swimmer’s ear. This condition is apparent when the ear is very painful when you tug on it, and there may also be stuff draining from the ear. Do not stick anything into the ear. The ear could be red and itchy. Try over the counter swimmer’s ear drops. If the symptoms persist for longer than 24 hours then you will need to seek medical advice. Your doctor may be able to prescribe some drops to kill any bacterial infection that has formed in the ear. A home remedy to prevent swimmer’s ear is to put a drop of alcohol and a drop of vinegar in each ear before and after going to the water. This will dry out the ear so that the bacterium does not form.
- Say so long to skin infections. Cuts and scrapes can become infected if not treated correctly. The first thing you should do is to wash the area with soap and water, and then dry it carefully. If the cut is deep and bleeding hold a clean cloth with constant pressure on the injury for several minutes. If after 5 minutes of pressure the cut is still bleeding you may need stitches so you should seek a medical evaluation. Leave the cut or scrape open to the air if possible because it may help it heal faster that way. If the cut or scrape is in an area that is likely to get dirty then cover it with an adhesive bandage. Antibacterial ointment may help speed up healing.
- Avoid heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion can come up on you in a hurry if you aren’t careful. To circumvent this, try to avoid engaging in any intense physical exercise during the hottest part of the day, and make sure that you and your children stay adequately hydrated. If you or your children are out in the heat and feel faint, nauseous, experience cramping, or have a rapid heart rate you need to get out of the sun immediately. Find some shade or air conditioning right away. Drink some cool water or a sports drink until the symptoms subside. Be very careful with heat exhaustion, because if left untreated it may turn into heat stroke, which could be life threatening.