What do you do if you're first on the scene in a road accident? How do you treat a sting at the beach or a burn at a holiday BBQ?
Always remember to take a first aid kit with you it could save a life.
Summer usually means outdoor fun which can also result in sprains, strains and broken bones. If you find yourself, or someone else injured remember the basic principles of R-I-C-E-R.
Rest: Don't walk or run, or use the injured area.
Ice: Apply ice indirectly to the injured area to reduce swelling and pain. If you don't have any ice you can use frozen veggies wrapped in a dish towel. Never place ice directly on the skin as it can damage the skin tissue over time, and don't apply ice for longer than 20 minutes with breaks of an hour between each ice pack.
Compression: Apply a firm compression bandage if available to stabilise and help the injured area.
Elevate and Refer: Elevate the affected limb if it doesn't cause the person more pain, and seek medical advice.
Keeping Safe on the Roads
In the event of a road accident, the first few minutes could prove vital for anyone who has been injured. Blurred vision or altered pupils, loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, memory loss, dizziness or nausea could all be signs of a head injury. If any of these symptoms are present call 000.
In an injured person starts to become drowsy or vomits, move them into the recovery position and continue to observe them while you wait for the emergency services to arrive.
With all head injuries presume spinal injuries and move them on a 'need to' basis. Always make sure the person's airway is clear and they are breathing normally.
Treating Stings at the Beach
To treat jellyfish stings wash any stingers with salt water and irrigate the area with vinegar. If vinegar is not available, apply a mixture of baking soda and water, or continue flushing with salt water. Don't use fresh water as it may increase the pain, non-topical jellyfish (including the Portuguese man o' war or blue bottle ) are best treated with hot water, but not too hot or a cold compress.
Treating a burn at a BBQ
For burns, run cool water over the burn area. The longer the burn is cooled, the less damage is done as the burn can continue for up to three hours. For severe burns that require further medical assistance, cool until the tissue is no longer hot, at least 20 minutes, then cover the burn with burn dressing or cling film.
First Aid Kits and Courses
Always remember to keep a first aid kit in the car or caravan over the holidays and book into a Red Cross first aid training course. To purchase a Red Cross first aid kit online, or to book your first aid training course go to redcross.edu.au or call 1300 367428