‘Be the one who makes a difference’
IN YOUR HOME
First Aid in the home is needed with minor aches and pains. Anything more serious than a temporary injury should be taken care of at the nearest emergency facility. The information below w ill help you to properly diagnose common injuries that might occur near the home.
In case of a bee or wasp sting, apply ice immediately to lessen swelling. If you can see a stinger, use tweezers to carefully remove it. To prevent any type of allergic reaction, take Benadryl (liquid or capsule) and apply antihistamine cream to the site of the sting.
If a broken bone is suspected, try to make a brace in order to help alleviate the pain. A piece of large cardboard or Popsicle sticks are perfect for making a brace. Then find the nearest emergency facility to get an x-ray or proper diagnosis. Observe little children closely. It is more difficult to suspect a broken bone with them.
For a minor cut, use soap, water, and hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. Once clean, apply pressure to the cut to stop the bleeding. After the bleeding has stopped, cover with a Band-Aid. For lacerations and more severe wounds, see the nearest emergency facility.
To treat a burn, remove any heat from the burn, then run the affected area under cold water or place a cold compress over it. Once cooled, rub antibiotic ointment on the area. Leave uncovered in order for your skin to breathe. If the burn is severe, meaning it covers a large surface area, is on the face or close to the mouth, or if it blisters, emergency help immediately.
You are about to leave on a vacation or even a drive to the grocery store. That thought crosses your mind, ‘what else should I bring with me?’ A first aid kit, especially in an ‘on-the-go’ situation, should weigh less than 50 pounds. This is basically a mini ‘travel survival kit’. It should contain useful medical items to help you to stay comfortable and safe. It is recommended that you carry a small kit in your car. Every day, you go to work, maybe school, or any other errands around town.
Always keep in mind the kit is not just for you or your family. If you are near someone who needs your help, you will be confident and prepared to help. There is definitely peace of mind in knowing that you can treat your needs, or someone else’s in case of an emergency.
The School Policy & Advisory Guide has made it mandatory that student health/first aid be of the highest priority in schools everywhere. All teachers and principals must be familiar with the school’s first aid procedures. They are responsible to observe their duty of care to students by providing firs aid treatment within the limits of their skill, expertise, training, and responsibilities.
School are showing their support by ensuring the school’s first aid needs are met and by providing: asthma kits, first aid rooms, major first aid kits, and portable first aid kits. Schools also manage blood spills, bleeding students, and syringe disposal/injuries.
Where possible, first aid should only be provided by staff who have been designated as the first aid providers. However, in an emergency, other staff may be required to help within their level of competence.
Many communities participate in their own volunteer program called Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This volunteer program trains citizens to be better prepared to respond to emergencies in their communities.
When emergencies happen, CERT members can provide critical support to first responders, immediate assistance to victims and can help organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the community safety.
CERT training is free and open to anyone within your community. (If you cannot find any local CERT program in your community, research the CERT program, and begin your own training). Once you are CERT certified, round-up neighbors and friends in your community and begin classes and more training.
Classes include: Disaster Preparedness, Fire Safety, Medical Operations and First Aid, Search and Rescue, Disaster Psychology, and Terrorism.
All workers have a right to a safe workplace. The law requires employers to provide their employees with safe and healthful workplaces. It is also a requirement of OSHA that employees be given a safe and healthy workplace that is reasonably free of occupational hazards. However, accidents do occur. Employers are required to provide medical and first aid personnel and supplies commensurate with the hazards of the workplace. The details of a workplace medical and first aid program are dependent on the circumstances of each workplace and employer.
Medical and first aid services are addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, long shoring, and the construction industry.
OSHA can help answer questions or concerns from employers and workers. To reach your regional or area OSHA office, go to OSHA’s Regional & Area Offices webpage or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). So if you think your job is unsafe, or if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact OSHA. Your contact with OSHA will be kept confidential.
- Cleaning wipes – Antibacterial wipes are useful for cleaning small wounds. (Larger wounds should be cleaned with soap and cooled, boiled water).
- Dressing pads – Get two or three gauze pads or dressings of different sizes, for use on more substantial cuts or grazes.
- Cotton wool – A few bits of cotton wool are useful for nosebleeds and cleaning purposes.
- Roll of tape – Used for holding dressing pads or bandages in place. There are gentle types of ape such as Micropore, as well as stronger types such as Elastoplast. If you are taking just one roll of tape, take a roll of Elastoplast, as it’s more versatile.
- Surgical Masks - We recommend masks when possible doing medical work to keep any possible contagions at bay.
- Surgical gloves – These are essential, as you may have to deal with your traveling companion’s body fluids, and hence the risk of infection, if they get injured in the middle of nowhere and you need to treat the wound.
- Bandages – You need a crepe bandage large enough for a sprained knee, ankle or wrist. It’s best to take two: one 8cm wide and one 4cm wide. They can be used to make a sling, bandage limbs together, provide compression in cases of very severe bleeding, or hold together splints that you have made from a sleeping mat.
- Medication – Consider medications such as pain-relief medication (ibuprofen, tylenol, advil), antihistamines, anti-diarrhea tablets, and any other personal medication necessary.
You can find local CPR classes through the American Red Cross. It does take time and effort to get this proper training, but it is invaluable information to have.
3 steps of CPR:
- Call – Check for unresponsiveness. If the person does not respond, and not breathing, or not breathing normally, call 911 and return to the victim. Usually the dispatcher can assist you in CPR instructions.
- Pump – If the victim is still not breathing, coughing or moving, begin chest compressions. Push down in the center of the chest 2 inches 3 times. Pump hard and fast at the rate of at least 100/minute, faster than one per second.
- Blow – Tilt the head back and lift the chin. Pinch the nose and cover mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise. Give 2 breaths. Each breath should take 1 second. (If still no signs of breathing, repeat steps 2 and 3).
Although the first aid kit is very important no matter where you are, many forget to add one thing to their kits. The emergency contact list. It is wise to always keep this list on your person as well. Take time to write down emergency contacts and other information that would be applicable. The emergency contact list should include contact information for your family doctor and pediatrician, local emergency services, emergency road service providers, and the poison help line (which in the United States is 800-222-1222).
In addition to the emergency contact list, fit a copy of your insurance details in your kits. These small additions could save your life. We suggest always keeping them in your wallet at all times. It’s a plus to also have medical consent forms for each family member and medical history forms for each family member.
WORKS CITED/ADDITIONAL RESOURCES