The first time I published this, my friends forgot to read it. One or two of them got some very bad sunburns on their feet. I hope more people read this blog post this year. If I save one person from going to the hospital, I will be happy!
Kids are out of school already, I hope all of you have made plans for activities to keep them occupied and out of trouble. As a parent I know that just because they have passed the terrible twos does not mean they are out of the thick of it! Parents you’re at risk too for all these things I am writing about so time to listen up and do some prepping.
At the start of Summer I take an inventory of my vehicle and home for supplies that are needed for day trips in the car and for those sleepovers of all the friends and family that come over from Timbuctoo. I go through my Emergency Kit for First Aid and the Emergency Kit for my car. The First Aid Kit I will make sure everything in it is still current. I check the Expiration dates, that they have not passed on the over the counter medicines that are in the kit. If so I replace them. I also check to make sure all the bandages are replaced along with antibiotic creams too. I also read the First Aid guide again. As I am reading all this information for writing I am learning again. The First Aid Kits in my house are also updated. The car Emergency Kit is checked for good batteries and a spare bulb for my flashlight, check the spare tire and make sure the jack is in the right place. I also make sure the flares are still good. Then I make sure I still have a pillow, a blanket, water and a box of fresh granola bars enough normally for three people.
If you live with someone that is highly allergic to Bites or Stings or a family member or friend has a food allergy make sure you are made aware of this. Also make sure the person you are travelling with takes their Emergency Kit with them and have a back-up kit as well.
What do our children our friends and families and ourselves have in our future this summer? Sunburns, Bug Bites, Scraped Knees and Hands? If that is all we get this summer I think most of us would be happy.
For Myth and Facts on Sunscreens here is a nice well written page to help us deal.
Both WebMD and The Mayo Clinic state when you fail at Sunscreen usage and you or someone else gets Sunburn, home remedies are: (There are a few rules here for kids under 2 and also under 12 you may want to read. I did not put them all into my writing but check out the links.) When putting on Sunscreen don’t forget your feet and the soles. If you sunbathe nothing is worse than sunburn on the bottom of your feet!
Cool Compresses on areas or cool showers or baths
Use lotion with Aloe Vera or Lotion with 1% Hydrocortisone which will help with the pain and swelling. (Do not use on children under 2 without calling your doctor) While your skin is getting moisture from the lotions you need to start drinking water. Dehydration will cause headaches and slight fever. The more fluids you get the better.
Now that your skin is as dry as a dead leaf it is going to fall off. Just like in autumn. It is part of the healing process. Lotion may help with itchiness.
If you somehow got very bad sunburn with blisters you get to pass to your MD for some medicine and a what for about Skin Cancer, Good Luck my friend.
What to do when you get Bug Bites and What type of Home Treatment?
First get away from the area you were bit or stung. Where there is one there are more.
Stay Calm. You do not want the venom moving around.
Remove the Stinger or Spines
I just learned about an icky caterpillar that is dangerous in the south and east USA. It is called the Puss Caterpillar. It is furry and underneath is spines; those are painful to humans take off the spines with scotch tape. Bee Stingers should be removed as fast as you can it is still pumping venom into you. Flick it away with your finger, a piece of paper, or a credit card.
At the actual time of the bite or sting on an arm or leg keep them down to help keep the venom from spreading. Later you can put up the limb to help reduce swelling
If you or your kids are unlucky enough to get stung by a Scorpion you’ll be given an antidote so off to the MD with you!
One more Bug that I will tell you about is Ticks. Most ticks don’t carry diseases or cause serious health problems. Prevention is better than having to remove them. Spray yourself with insect repellant (again watch labels on applying and using on children) Wear as much clothing as possible, Hats, Long Sleeved Shirts Pants and the Pants stuffed into (you guessed it) SOCKS! And please wear good shoes for hiking or your activity. (Rubber Flip Flops and Sandals are not normally equipped to handle Hiking Trails. Please remember when you slip and fall I told you so, only because I’ve done it!) Wear light colored clothes so you can see the ticks on you, (But not if you are allergic to bees).
When you are back home and you think there may be a tick on them then throw your clothes in the dryer and run it for 10 to 15 minutes to kill the tick. Check yourself out from head to toe. If you find a tick:
Use Fine Tipped Tweezers to get the tick out of your skin. If you do not have Tweezers put gloves on your hands and use tissue paper to pull the tick out. Once out put the tick in a Ziploc bag or a dry jar and freeze the sucker. If by any chance you do have symptoms develop later you can take the culprit into the MD for finding out more information.
Do not touch the tick with your bare hands.
Do not use or let anyone else use on you: A Match, Petroleum Jelly, Nail Polish, Gasoline or Alcohol these will only hurt you and possibly cause an infection. (How many times I have heard use a blown out match to make them back out, enough to know to say get away from me!)
Do Wash the bite site with lots of warm soapy water to clean it out well. Mild soap like Ivory or Dawn is good. Put an antibiotic cream on it and then continue with below. (Report to MD if these symptoms occur after home treatment:
Flu-Like Symptoms Develop
A rash or sore develops
Symptoms of a Skin Infection Develops
Symptoms become more severe or more frequent.
These are things to do with many of the Home Treatments:
So now you are home and you need to ice the area 15 to 20 minutes for the next 6 hours. When not using the ice use a wet cool cloth on it the rest of the time. (I’ve been doing this one wrong for years) It is said to help with pain and itching and swelling you can use over the counter medicines, just use common sense and read the labels and also call the doctor. The article talks about 1% Hydrocortisone Cream and Calamine Lotion to help reduce the itching.
The last thing to talk about is the Scraped Knees and Hands Category. I am really good at this one; I am the Queen of all Klutzes! I fall downstairs and upstairs! I walk like a Duck some days I think I should try walking pigeon toed so I won’t fall but somehow I know that would fail too!
First of All make sure the person is okay from the fall. Assess the wound if it is deep, won’t stop bleeding or something is embedded it the wound seek medical attention. If you have found that it is a minor cut or scrape then this is what you do.
Have them sit down and relax while you will wash your hands.
You will use cool water on the scrape or cut to wash out dirt and debris, also use soap you can pour the water over the wound if it is on a hand or arm. If not take water from the sink to the wound then use a mild soap to clean the area.
Do not use: Hydrogen Peroxide, Iodine or Rubbing Alcohol, they are too harsh and really not needed.
At first a small amount of blood can help clean the wound. Remember head wounds bleed a lot because there are a lot of blood vessels in our head. Keep calm and directly apply firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze to stop the bleeding. If it soaks through the first add another to the top and keep applying pressure. Do not raise the cloth to keep checking if it has stopped bleeding. If you cannot get the bleeding to stop, it is time to go to the doctor, keep the pressure on the wound while in transit.
Once you have stopped the bleeding put on some antibiotic and a Band-Aid or if allergic to adhesive use gauze and paper tape or elastic bandage. Change the bandage daily or when it gets dirty or wet. Once it is healed enough not to get infected let it stay uncovered for better healing.
Treatment for Minor Cuts and Scrapes
In conclusion I would like to say we should all take time to reacquaint ourselves with First Aid and Home Treatment. You may never know when learning the signs of a stroke could save a life of a person you love. Perhaps you never knew your Aunt could not eat your famous brownies because you use nuts in the mix but how she wanted to try them without nuts, but you never talked about it.