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Author Archives: corinne grace

Treating a broken shoulder blade

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Treating a broken shoulder blade)

A shoulder blade is a flat, large triangular-shaped bone at the rear part of the shoulder, and is also known as the scapula. The shoulder blade is positioned over the second up to the the seventh rib on each side of the back, and it is a component of the pectoral girdle that helps connect the arm to the chest area. It connects the humerus which is the arm bone, with the clavicle, known as collar bone. The scapula has a large area for muscle attachment. There are 18 muscles that are attached to the scapula; they are attached either by insertion or by origin points. The injuries to these areas are in the form of pulled muscles, due to a large number of muscles that are attached to it. If a scapula is injured or broken it is a severe sign of trauma.

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A broken shoulder blade can be caused by direct pain that involves a large amount of force or violence. There are common causes of a broken shoulder blade:

  • Vehicular accidents
  • Falling from a tree or anywhere that hits your shoulders
  • Falling onto an outstretched arm
  • A direct pain from a baseball bat or hammer or anything hard that hits your shoulders

Symptoms of a broken shoulder blade

  • There is swelling, pain and bruising over the shoulder blade
  • There is pain in moving the arm
  • Difficulty in lifting the arm
  • There is pain with each breath caused by the movement of the chest wall with each breath, and this movement makes the shoulder blade to move and causes pain
  • The shoulders looks flattened and deformed
Shoulder blade

A broken shoulder blade can be caused by direct pain that involves a large amount of force or violence.

Treatment of broken shoulder blade

  • First thing to do is to control the bleeding. If there is bleeding, apply steady and direct pressure with a clean cloth or bandage for 15 minutes. If the blood seeps through the cloth, put another cloth over the first.
  • Make a sling to support the affected arm, put a triangular bandage beneath it and over the unaffected shoulder, and then tie it adjacent to the neck.
  • Treat the symptoms by applying ice to the injury to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Provide the individual with over-the-counter pain reliever acetaminophen (Tylenol) for relieving pain.

Prevention

Aside from the first aid measures that you can perform, there are ways to prevent the injury from occurring in the first place.

Broken shoulder blades can be prevented by avoiding activities like:

  • Activities with dangers in causing a fall like rock climbing, hand-gliding, or skydiving
  • Contact sports like football, baseball, and basketball
  • Driving a vehicle without seatbelts

A physical therapy for a broken shoulder blade is very important because it helps regain the mobility of the joints, and preventing condition like “frozen shoulder” from happening. It also helps strengthen the shoulder and preventing future injuries and will restore proper mobility in the areas of the arm.

How to treat mouth and dental injuries

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on How to treat mouth and dental injuries)

A mouth injury are common in young children and involves the teeth, lips, jaw, inner cheeks, tongue, roof of the mouth, tonsils, gums and neck. Occasionally, these injuries looks worse than they are, even a small cut or puncture inside the mouth can cause so much bleeding because there are so many blood vessels in the neck and head area.

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Injury in the teeth can be caused by a fall or in a sports activity or it can be knocked out (avulsed). It can be replaced with a permanent tooth in its socket by replanting. If the tooth was knocked out or torn away from the socket, immediate first aid and dental treatment should be given to the person.

A crack, chip, or break a tooth, or changes in color of the tooth can also be caused by a tooth injury. A tooth that loses or moves out of position is called dental luxation, or a tooth that is jammed into the gums is called intruded.

Grinding of teeth at night can also cause dental injuries. A broken or a loose dental appliance that is attached to the teeth or an orthodontic wire or bracket will rub the inside of your mouth and making it sore.

Mouth injuries

Injury in the mouth and lips causes large, loose tissues or a gaping wound that will need stitches.

Injury in the mouth and lips causes large, loose tissues or a gaping wound that will need stitches. A wound in the lip can be stitched. A piece of broken tooth or an orthodontic wire that is attached to the wound would require medical care.

When a person falls on a pointed object like a pencil or a Popsicle stick in his or her mouth, it will cause injury to the roof of the mouth, the back of the throat or a tonsil can cause damage to the tissues in the head and neck.

Treatment for mouth and dental injuries

  • Applying a cold compress to the injured area or the person will suck on a piece of ice or flavored ice pop like Popsicle.
  • Rinse the wound with warm water after eating meals. Use saltwater to promote healing by mixing 1 teaspoon of salt to a cup of water.
  • Eating soft foods that can be easily swallowed like milk, shakes, ice cream, yogurt. Other recommended foods include custards, cottage cheese and sherbets, mashed potatoes, chicken, tuna, eggs and peanut butter.
  • Avoiding foods that are spicy, salty, citrus fruit juices and tomatoes.
  • Avoid smoking or use tobacco products, avoid drinking alcohol.
  • If an orthodontic wire or bracket is stabbing the gums or teeth, create a roll or ball of molten candle wax or orthodontic wax and apply it the area that is prodding the gums or teeth.

Preventive measures

  • Have the teeth and gums checked by the dentist regularly
  • Using a seat belt when riding in a vehicle to prevent or reduce injuries in the mouth during motor vehicle accidents.
  • Wearing a mouth guard when playing some sports, it can be made by the dentist.
  • Wearing a helmet and face guard in sports to protect the face, mouth, or head if accidents might happen.
  • Proper wearing of the orthodontics appliances, like the retainer or headgear.
  • Using orthodontic wax in protecting the inside of the mouth from poking wires.

Treating ringworm

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating ringworm)

Ringworm is a condition of the skin that is characterized by the development of swollen, raised circle or oval-like patches with a presence of a ring. Ringworm is caused by fungal infection of the skin that usually occurs in the scalp, groins, hands or feet. This infection can happen in both children and adults.

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Ringworm is caused by dermatophytes and is also known as tinea. An individual can have an infection by direct contact with an infected person. A person can also have an infection from infected animals, from soil or formites. These fungi can cause swelling of the skin that result in the formation of a ring on the skin.

Ring worm can also found in other parts of the body like tinea barbae – ringworm found in the beard area, tinea cruris – ringworm found in the groin, perineum and the perineal areas, tinea pedis – ringworm in the feet, tinea manuum – ringworm in the hands, and tinea ungums – ringworm in the nails.

Ringworm

Ringworm is caused by fungal infection of the skin that usually occurs in the scalp, groins, hands or feet.

Symptoms of ringworm

Ring worm of the scalp known as tinea capitis are commonly found in school children. It is characterized by circular patches of hair loss on the scalp that is not associated with inflammation of the scalp. A dandruff formation can be a sign of tinea capitis. Adults and children living in warm and humid temperatures are most susceptible to tinea corporis known as ringworm of the body. This kind of ringworm affects only the skin excluding the scalp, hairy area, hands and the groin. The characteristic of this ringworm is the raised reddish rings on the skin that are asymptomatic and are spreading rapidly. They maybe sometimes infected by a bacteria that can cause a formation of a pus filled eruptions.

Treatment of ringworm

Ringworm infections are treated with antifungal agents in the form of tablets or skin cream or lotions. Commonly used fungal medications are griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole. Anti-fungal creams and lotion are only applied for mild cases of ringworm, use tablet if there is a moderate to severe ringworm infections. If you want to learn more about treating ringworm, click here.

Ringworms can also be treated vinegar, garlic, ginger, lemon and iodine, salt, and even Vicks Vaporub to minimize itching.

Raw papaya can also be used in treating ringworm. Slice the fruit and rub on the ringworm rashes. Another way is making a paste separately from mustard seeds, butea seeds or cassia leaves. They are rubbed on the infected areas.

Prevention

  • Avoid direct contact with the infected adults and children.
  • Avoid sharing of personal belongings with the infected person
  • Early identification of symptoms and treatment to prevent spreading and complications.
  • Stay in dry places and avoid from becoming overheated since these are the best places for breeding of the fungal infections
  • Avoiding animals that are infected. Make sure the household pets are treated immediately if they show symptoms of ringworm infections, and not passing it to other members of the household.

How to treat sore throat

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat sore throat)

A sore throat can be very painful and annoying. Most cases of sore throats are caused by minor illnesses. Sore throats are also known as pharyngitis and are caused by virus and bacteria, substances like alcohol, tobacco and some pollutants. A mild sore throat is slightly painful when swallowing and an appearance of red and irritated throat. A person suffering from sore throat has a low grade fever.

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Some conditions that can cause sore throat

Viral illness

  • Common cold – the most common type of viral infection
  • Laryngitis – the infection of the voice box
  • Mumps and influenza
  • Mononucleosis – known as “the kissing disease” which is an infection that causes persistent sore throat

Bacterial infections

Sore throat

Seek medical help if the person developed difficulty in breathing and there is pain, the person has inability drinking fluids, a rash and fever develops.

  • Tonsillitis – an inflammation or infection of the tonsils and sometimes adenoiditis is the inflammation of the adenoids
  • Strep throat – does not happen with congestion or a cough
  • Peritonsillar abscess – the infection of tissues around the tonsils
  • Uvulitis – inflammation of the uvula
  • Epiglottitis – inflammation of the epiglottis
  • In some rare cases gonorrhoea or chlamydia if engaged in a high-risk sexual behavior.

Cases of sore throats that last more than a week are caused by irritants and injuries such as the following:

  • Irritations from low humidity, air pollution, smoking, yelling or post nasal drip
  • People who have allergies and breathing through the mouth or a stuffy nose.
  • An injury at the back of the throat like a cut or a puncture
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome – it is a condition that causes extreme tiredness.

Treatment of sore throat

The following first aid measures can help relieve the discomfort caused by sore throat. By enrolling in a first aid course today, you will learn how to effectively manage this condition.

  1. Gargle with warm water to reduce the swelling and relieving discomfort at least once every hour with 1 tsp. of salt dissolved in 8 oz. of warm water. Gargle often if the person is having post nasal drip to prevent irritations.
  2. Prevent dehydration by drinking hot fluids like tea or soup and it also helps minimize throat irritation.
  3. Put a vaporizer or humidifier in the bedroom to make the person feel more comfortable. It also relieves hoarseness and do not make the room become very damp and uncomfortably cold.
  4. If a humidifier is not available, use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture by evaporation. Place the pan in a safe place to prevent accidents to other people.
  5. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products and avoiding any source of second hand smoke.
  6. Seek medical help if the person developed difficulty in breathing and there is pain, the person has inability drinking fluids, a rash and fever develops. The symptoms that last more than 2 weeks or becoming more severe would also require medical attention.

Prevention

  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
  • Washing of hands often, especially in contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding irritants like smoke, fumes or yelling that causes a sore throat.
  • Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products and avoiding exposure to second hand smoke.
  • Minimize sharing of eating or drinking utensils to prevent spreading of the virus to other people.

 

How to treat eczema

July 30th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat eczema)

Eczema is a skin condition that results to the development of dense, flaking red patches on the skin and severe itching. It can affect individuals of all ages as well as babies. Some people with eczema are lucky that their condition vanishes once they reach maturity, but others have it all their lives. Eczema can be treated with changes in the lifestyles and applying topical creams. As a common skin disorder, you should learn how to provide the appropriate first aid measures if eczema is suspected.

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Treatment for eczema

  • Keep the skin moisturized, even if there are no flare-ups. Use unscented soap and lotion every time when taking a bath. This helps in protecting the skin from irritants and itchiness as well as reduces discomfort.
  • There are foods that should be avoided such as nuts, cow’s milk or fish. Most cases of eczema are aggravated by using strong soaps that strips the moisture of the skin, also the perfumes in cosmetics, detergents and soaps. Other cases that trigger eczema are pet dander or dust mites.
  • Use the prescribed medicated creams if over-the-counter cream is not effective. Some creams for eczema contains corticosteroids, and some new creams contains pimecrolimus or tacrolimus that are good for eczema when steroids do not work or causing bad side effects.
  • If the person who has eczema has difficulty sleeping because of the itchiness, take antihistamines. They are used during severe flare-ups of eczema to help individuals enjoy better sleep and prevent them from infecting the eczema patches with their uncontrollable scratching.
  • If eczema is very severe, use oral steroid under a doctor’ supervision. Oral steroids suppress a serious inflammation.
  • Take immunosuppressant drugs if the eczema does not respond to steroids or changes in lifestyles. The doctor will monitor the patient while using these drugs since it can cause colds, infections and some types of cancer.
Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that results to the development of dense, flaking red patches on the skin and severe itching.

Eczema can also be treated using sea salt

Using sea salt for skin treatments helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and restores damaged skin. Sea salt helps reduce pain, inflammation, improves circulation and cell regeneration as well as hydrates the tissues.

  • Choose a high quality, unrefined sea salt since it contains the greatest amount of minerals. They can be very expensive, just buy in bulk to save money. A large grain sea salt is good for external use and can be grounded for cooking and seasoning.
  • Make a sea salt scrub to minimize the symptoms of eczema and for exfoliation of dead skin cells. Ingredients for healing sea salt scrub include 4 tbsp. large grain sea salt, 1 tbsp. ground bay leaf, 2 tbsp. sweet almond oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix all the ingredients and keep in a jar with a tight fitting cover. Massage the scrub into problems areas and rinsing them with warm water.
  • In a warm bath tub add 1 to 2 cups of sea salt, and soak to help minimize eczema symptoms.  It removes dirt and oils from the skin, then add 15 to 20 drops of lavender essential oils to the tub to add more soothing effects on the eczema.
  • Treat open wounds caused by eczema by mixing ½ tsp. of sea salt with 1 cup warm water.  Soak a clean cloth in the solution and place it over the irritated skin for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure three or four times every day.

Treating minor wounds with eggs

July 30th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in First Aid for Burns - (Comments Off on Treating minor wounds with eggs)

Eggs are nutritious food, but they have healing elements in treating fevers, minor wounds, and bruising, reducing scars and can soothe sunburn and stops bleeding. As part of first aid training, you will learn how to use eggs on wounds and health conditions.

Bruises – place a hardboiled egg in cheesecloth. Gather all the edges of the cheesecloth and tie a knot or secure it with a rubber band. Break the egg, together with shell, into small pieces and put the cheesecloth bag to the bruise. It will reduce the pain and swelling.

Scarring – break an egg, and place all the liquid contents of the egg in a bowl. Peel the inner skin of the egg away from the shell and place it over the wound. It will just stick to the skin even when it is dry. This procedure will prevent appearance of a scar. Replace the egg skin at least two times a day until the wound is completely healed.

Sunburn – treat a sunburn or minor burn with egg whites. Separate egg white from the egg yolk, then whip the egg white into a frothy cream, then add 2 tsp. castor oil and 2 tsp. of vinegar and stir well. Once applied to a burn, you can feel a soothing relief.

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Egg whites can be made into a natural clear bandage to aid in the healing of cuts, stop bleeding and reducing scabs. Separate the egg white from the egg yolk, and peel the thin egg skin from the shell, and placing it over the cut and cover it with a thin layer of egg white. If the egg skin becomes dry, peel it off and reapply again the egg white.

Other uses of eggs

Eggs

Egg whites can be made into a natural clear bandage to aid in the healing of cuts, stop bleeding and reducing scabs.

  • Making hair shiny – you have to break three eggs in a bowl and mix them thoroughly with a whisk. Then apply it to your hair by using your hand, make sure the hair is coated evenly. Let it dry on your hair. Then wash your hair with warm to cool water and shampoo. The result is a shiny and soft to touch hair.
  • Egg yolk facial mask – separate egg white from the yolk, then beat the egg yolk in a bowl until it is frothy. Using a cotton pad, apply it to your face, by covering all the skin surfaces, and let it dry completely. Then wash it off using soap and a warm to cool water. Your skin will be tighter and softer.
  • Scalp cleanser – using three eggs, separate egg whites from the yolk, and whip them properly. With your hands, remove the egg yolks and place them on your scalp and carefully massage it. Let the egg yolks dry completely, and wash it out with a shampoo and warm to cool water. The egg yolk will give nourishment to the scalp and moisturizes any scalp dryness and dandruff.

Using vinegar for first aid

July 30th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Using vinegar for first aid)

Vinegar is very useful in many first aid situations. If you will sign up for first aid training, you will learn the usefulness of vinegar. It is the first antibiotic treatment for humans.

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  1. Treating abrasions – vinegar is a natural antiseptic that can be used to treat abrasion by mixing ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of water. It is used to clean minor cuts and abrasions. It can also be used in reducing the itchiness caused by poison ivy or other insects.
  2. Sunburn – in treating sunburns using vinegar, first thing you do is cover the sunburns with a towel soaked in the mixture of water and vinegar. Another way is putting vinegar and water mixture in a spray bottle and apply it directly on the burned area of the body. To reduce swelling and fluid caused by the sun, you can mix baking soda and apple cider vinegar and apply to affected area.
  3. Stiff muscles – in reducing the stress of over-worked muscles, you have to mix ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup warm water. Then soak a towel, wring out the towel and use it to cover the sore muscles, then cover it with a plastic wrap and leave it overnight. When reducing bruising, mix ½ cup vinegar and ½ cup cold water, use it as cold compress and secure in place with a tape or sports wrap.
  4. Treating diarrhea – cider vinegar is good with digestion and an antiseptic on the intestines and the digestive tract. Mix 1 tsp. of cider vinegar to one glass of water, drink it before meals. This will lessen the intensity of diarrhea.
  5. Hay fever – the symptoms of hay fever are watery eyes, sneezing and runny nose. You can treat hay fever using honey and vinegar. Take 1 tbsp. of honey and a dose of cider vinegar 3 times a day during seasons of hay fever. If you want some extra relief, use local honey and begin the treatment.
  6. A scratchy throat – to relieve sore throat, you have to gargle with apple cider vinegar and water mixture. Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar and ½ cup water. Repeat this treatment every hour. Rinse your mouth properly to minimize the effect of acidity on your teeth.
Vinegar

It is used to clean minor cuts and abrasions. It can also be used in reducing the itchiness caused by poison ivy or other insects.

Apple cider vinegar can be made into apple cider vinegar bath. It helps heal the skin and restoring the natural balance. Apple cider vinegar can also be a disinfectant in homes, improve your health and can be used for home beautifications. It can also remove stains and buildup of hard water.

Other uses of vinegar

All-purpose cleaner – mixing 2 parts water and 1 part vinegar and place in a bottle spray and add a few drops of liquid dish detergent, then shake it. It can be used for cleaning stainless steel, counter tops, windows, and sinks.

Stinky or slow drainage – pour ¼ cup of baking soda in the drain and then add ½ to 1 cup of vinegar. After a while flush it with hot water.

Fruits fly at home – using a small jar or canning jar, poke holes in the lid. Fill it with ¼ cup vinegar and place it on top of the counter. It will trap the fruit flies.

Ways of getting rid of mosquitoes

July 11th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Ways of getting rid of mosquitoes)

Mosquitoes can turn into pests when their breeding area is close by. Mosquitoes can carry dangerous diseases such as malaria and the West Nile virus. Once an individual is bitten by a mosquito, the bite can cause itchiness and irritation.

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Ways to eliminate mosquitoes

Always remember that prevention is the better option since mosquitoes are potential carriers of various diseases. If you will enrol in a first aid course, you can learn more about different diseases transmitted by mosquitoes and the appropriate measures to take.

Garlic

For many generations, it has been the practice of many farmers and gardeners to placing whole garlic cloves around their gardens, fields and yards to kill mosquitoes. Garlic is harmless to plants and safe for pets and children.

Placing garlic in those areas will kill mosquitoes and also repels them. The mosquito has an olfactory sense of 10,000 times powerful than the human, thus they can smell the garlic and discouraged by the odor. Garlic can also be placed inside homes to minimize the risk for diseases spread by mosquitoes.

Electric mosquito traps

Mosquitoes

Always remember that prevention is the better option since mosquitoes are potential carriers of various diseases.

It attracts and kills mosquitoes that fly in the area where it is positioned. Today, you can easily find a wide selection of electric mosquito traps that have distinct features.

Non-electric mosquito traps

These can be used in campsites and locations where electricity is not available. Some models of these mosquito traps work by scattering a safe odourless chemical that will drive away the mosquitoes.

Using pesticides and larvicides

There are pesticides that are specifically used on mosquitoes. Pesticides can be sprayed on corners and dark places of the house where mosquitoes usually gather.

As for the larvicides, they can be used on the places where mosquitoes breed.  It is an insecticide used for killing the insect while it is at the larval stage. There are also biological agents that can be used to kill the larvae of mosquitoes. Bacillus thuringiensis or known as BT is a bacterial disease which can affect the larva of mosquitoes.

There are also soil bacteria that are registered as larvicides under the names of aquabac, teknar, vectorbac, larvX and vectoLexCG that are available in granular form. These are sprinkled on the surface of stagnant water where mosquitoes usually breed. Once the larvae ingest the bacteria, a crystallized toxin is produced inside the digestive tract that will destroy the digestive tract of the larvae resulting to death. Just remember that these larvicides can last only two weeks in the water.

Another biological agent that stops or interrupts the growth cycle of larvae until the pupa stage is called methoprene. This is placed in large bodies of water in the form of briquets which can last from one to five months.  Take note that this is not harmful to humans and other animals and will not seep into the ground water supply.

How to handle common eye injuries

July 11th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to handle common eye injuries)

The eyes are responsible for providing us with vision and uniquely positioned in the head so that they are protected from injuries.  On the other hand, when something is wrong with your eyes, you have to take it seriously. Immediate emergency care must be provided right away.

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Common eye injuries

Chemical burn

When an eye is accidentally splashed with chemicals, you have to quickly flush the eye with cool water. This will help dilutes the chemical in the eye, thus reducing the risk for serious eye damage.

Fill a dishpan with water and submerge the face of the individual. Instruct him/her to open and close your eyelids to allow the water to cleanse all parts of your eye.  You can also flush the chemicals in your eyes under running water. Instruct the individual to move his/her eye in all directions during flushing so that all areas of the eye are rinsed.

Scratched eye

This can be caused by getting punched or rubbing the eye with the presence of foreign objects such as dust or sand. It results to redness and sensitivity to light.

Common eye injuries

Scratches on the eye can make the eye susceptible to infection from bacteria or fungus.

Scratches on the eye can make the eye susceptible to infection from bacteria or fungus. There are certain types of bacteria and fungi that can enter the eye through a scratch and can cause serious problems. If an individual has a scratched eye, instruct him/her not to rub and do not put a patch.  Bacteria like to live in dark and warm places and using a patch provides the ideal environment.  A paper cup or an eye shield can be used to prevent infection from developing.

Foreign object in the eye

If something enters the eye, do not rub your eyes since this can cause irritation. You can try to remove the particle in the eye if it is not embedded.  You have to wash your hands first with soap and water to prevent contamination and infection.

Flush the eye with water and use your finger and thumb to pull the upper eyelid down over the top of the lower eyelid.  This will cause tearing but can allow you to flush out the object in the eye.  You have to repeat this several times.

Swelling of the eye

This condition can be due to the building up of fluids in the areas surrounding the eye.  An inflamed eyelid is an indication of an infection and sometimes accompanied by discharge in the corner of the eye due to a bacterial or viral infection.

The individual can also have conjunctivitis in which the membrane lining the eyelid starts to swell and becomes itchy and red in color. You have to instruct the individual to avoid touching the affected eye. A home remedy that you can perform is to place a cool cloth over the affected eye two times in a day to minimize the swelling.

Backpack safety

February 11th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Backpack safety)

Backpacks have been a popular and practical way to carry items especially for children and even adults. They were specifically designed to distribute the weight on the strongest muscles in the body. If a backpack is used properly, it is a good way to carry items. The basics on backpack safety is essential for parents with children using one as well as the adults.

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How to properly use backpacks

Backpacks that are overly heavy or used inappropriately can lead to problems especially for both children and adults. Improper use of backpacks can damage the joints and muscles. Understandably, it can result to severe neck, back and shoulder discomfort as well as problems with the posture.

It is a common belief that heavy backpacks are linked to scoliosis, but in reality, they do not cause the condition. Take note that scoliosis is the sideway curve of the spine that manifests in children during the stage of puberty.

Selecting the right backpack to use

Once you decide to purchase a backpack for your child, it is important to choose one that is appropriately sized for your child. Additionally, features to watch out for include:

  • Two shoulder straps that are wide and properly padded
  • Waist straps
  • Padded back
  • Backpack made out of lightweight material
  • Rolling backpack

How to prevent injuries when using backpacks

When backpacks are not used properly or hold a heavy load, it can lead to injuries. It is vital to prevent any possible injuries by following certain guidelines when using a backpack for both children and adults.

backpack safety

Back pain due to excessive load on backpacks.

  • Both shoulder straps of the backpack should be used in order to distribute the weight equally over the back. Do not use only one strap especially when the backpack is heavy.
  • The straps should be tightened in order to keep the load close to the back.
  • The items that are placed in the backpack should be properly organized by packing the heavier items low and close to the center.
  • Always pack light especially for children. Avoid carrying loads more than 15-20% of their body weight.
  • Lift the backpack properly by bending using the knees when picking the backpack.
  • Take away items that are too heavy or simply carry those that are needed if possible. Just leave those that are not needed at school or home.
  • Build up muscle strength through exercises.

Useful tips for parents

When children are using backpacks, there are useful tips that parents should be familiar with.

  • Observe how your child puts on or takes off the backpack if it requires effort. In case the backpack is too heavy for your child, remove some of the items and instruct to carry them to minimize the load on the back.
  • Ask your child if there is tingling, numbness or discomfort in the legs or arms. This usually indicates improper fit or the weight is too heavy.
  • If your child complains about pain when using a backpack, consult a doctor right away.

Backpacks are very useful either at school or for work. Just make sure that backpacks are properly used and avoid carrying a lot of weight for extended periods since it can lead to problems in the long run.