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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.

Elbow dislocation

February 7th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Skeletal Injuries - (Comments Off on Elbow dislocation)

Elbow dislocation occurs once the surfaces of the joint are separated and can be partial or complete. A complete dislocation takes place if the surfaces of the joints are separated completely. As for the partial dislocation, the surfaces of the joints are only separated incompletely.

Causes of elbow dislocation

Dislocations of the elbow are not quite common and they typically take place once an individual falls with the hands outstretched. The moment the hand strikes a hard surface, the force is sent directly to the elbow and there is usually a turning motion from this force that can rotate or drive the elbow out from its socket. This injury can also occur during vehicular accidents if the individual reaches forward to suppress the impact.

In a simple elbow dislocation, no major bone injury is incurred while a complex elbow dislocation involves severe ligament and bone injuries. In worst cases, the nerves and blood vessels throughout the elbow can be affected. In such cases, there is a possibility that the arm will be removed. Individuals who inherently have laxness in their ligaments are at risk for dislocation.

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Signs and symptoms of a dislocated elbow

If there is complete dislocation of the elbow, it is very painful and the affected arm has an odd twist at the area of the elbow. As for a partial dislocation, it is difficult to detect and usually occurs right after an accident. Due to the partial dislocation, the bones have the possibility to relocate in a spontaneous manner while the joint appears normal. In some cases, pain and bruising is present either inside or exterior the elbow.

How an elbow dislocation is diagnosed

Once a doctor is consulted, the affected arm is examined for swelling, tenderness an

d deformity. The skin will be assessed and the circulation in the arm while the pulses at the wrist are checked. In case an artery is damaged, the hand is cool to the touch or exudes a purple or white hue.

X-ray is required to determine if the bones are damaged and can define the direction of the dislocation. This diagnostic exam can confirm if the elbow is dislocated. A CT scan is performed if the damage is difficult to identify on the X-ray.

How elbow dislocations are treated

elbow dislocation

A dislocated elbow can cause pain.

Dislocations of the elbow must be considered as an emergency. The main

objective of immediate care for an elbow dislocation is to restore the elbow to its proper alignment while the long-term objective is to restore functionality to the affected arm.

The normal alignment of the elbow is restored in an emergency room in

any hospital. Prior to the procedure which is called reduction maneuver, pain medications and sedatives are administered. The procedure is performed in a slow and gentle manner.

For minor elbow dislocations, it can be treated by immobilizing the elbow

using a sling or splint for 2-3 weeks and followed with motion exercises. Take note that if the elbow is not exercised for an extended period, it can affect its range of motion. Always remember that physical therapy is needed during the recovery period.

Home care – foreign object in the eye

January 31st, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on Home care – foreign object in the eye)

In case you suspect that you or a family member has a foreign object in the eye, it is important to perform first aid measures at home right away in order to avoid infection and the possibility of damage to the vision.

foreign object in the eye

Foreign object in the eye

A foreign object in the eye can range from eyelashes, dust, sand, sawdust, metal particles, cosmetics and dirt. These objects can enter the eye through daily activities and do not actually cause severe damage as long as they are quickly removed from the eye. In doing so, damage to the eye structures can be prevented.

Precautions if there is a foreign object in the eye

  • Instruct the individual not to rub or apply pressure on the affected eye
  • Avoid using any instruments or utensils such as cotton swabs or tweezers on the surface of the eye
  • If the individual wears contact lenses, do not remove unless there is abrupt swelling or due to chemical injury

Preliminary steps before performing home care

  • Always wash your hands thoroughly
  • Check the affected eye in a location that has bright light
  • When examining the eye, instruct the individual to look up while pulling the lower lid down and then instruct the individual to look down while flipping up the interior of the upper lid

Steps when removing a foreign object in the eye

Always remember that the safest method for removing a foreign object in the eye tends to differ depending on the type of object being removed and its location in the eye.

The most common location for foreign objects is under the upper eyelid. If this is the case, there are steps to follow:

  • Initially immerse the side of the face of the individual in a flat container of water. Once the affected eye is underwater, instruct the individual to open and close the eye several times in order to flush out the foreign object.
  • Similar results can be achieved if an eyecup will be used. An eyecup can be purchased in any drugstore.
  • In case the object is still embedded, simply pull out the upper lid and stretch it over the lower lid in order to loosen the object.

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Foreign object lodged beneath the lower eyelid

  • You have to pull out the lower lid or press down on the skin beneath the eyelid in order to see underneath it.
  • If the foreign object is visible, you can tap it using a damp cotton swab.
  • In case the object is difficult to remove, you can flush it out by using flowing water on the eyelids while holding it open.
  • An eyecup can also be used to flush out the object.

In case there are several miniature fragments from a particular substance such as sand, it is important to flush them out instead of removing them one at a one.

  • With a wet cloth, use it to remove any particles for the surrounding area of the affected eye.
  • Immerse the side of the face of the individual that has the affected eye in a flat container of water. Once the eye is submerged in water, instruct the individual to open and close the eye several times in order to flush out the particles.
  • For young children, simply pour a glass of warm water into the eye while holding the child face up. Keep the eyelid open while pouring water into the eye to flush out the particles.

Chlorine poisoning

January 27th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Poisons - (Comments Off on Chlorine poisoning)

Chlorine is categorized as a substance that is utilized in preventing the growth of bacteria in water and also as sanitation for industrial and sewage waste. It is also used as a component in different home cleaning products. Chlorine poisoning can happen if an individual swallows or inhales the chemical. It basically reacts with water inside and outside of the body to form hydrochloric acid and hydrochlorous acid. Take note that both are very poisonous.

Even though you might be familiar with chlorine that is utilized in swimming pools, majority of incidents of chlorine poisoning is due to ingesting the household cleaners that contain the chemical. The products and substances that contain chlorine include:

chlorine-poisoning

Chlorine is used in swimming pools

  • Bleach products
  • Water in swimming pools
  • Chlorine capsules utilized in swimming pools
  • Mild home cleaning products

Symptoms of chlorine poisoning

Chlorine poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms all over the body. The respiratory symptoms include the accumulation of fluid in the lungs and difficulty breathing. As for the digestive symptoms, it includes swelling of the throat, burning in the mouth, throat pain, vomiting, stomach pain and blood in the stool.

Exposure to chlorine can damage the circulatory system and can result to changes in the acid levels of the blood. Additionally, it can also lower down the blood pressure. If the eyes are exposed to the chemical, it will cause burning and irritation. In worst cases, it can lead to temporary loss of vision. As for the skin, it can cause tissue damage, irritation and burns.

How chlorine poisoning is diagnosed

Since chlorine poisoning is quite common, it can be easily diagnosed. In some cases, children might ingest cleaning products that contain chlorine. This is difficult to diagnose since children could not tell what they actually feel. Children with symbols of chlorine poisoning must be brought to the hospital right away.

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How to treat chlorine poisoning

It is important to seek emergency assistance right away if an individual is subjected to chlorine. Always remember not to induce vomiting unless it is instructed by poison control or a medical professional. In case the chlorine is present on your skin or eyes, simply flush the area with running water for at least 15 minutes.

In case the chlorine was ingested accidentally, the individual should be given water or milk to drink immediately, unless vomiting or convulsions are experienced. For inhaled chlorine, provide the individual with fresh air as soon as possible.

Once the medical professionals have arrived, it is important to provide the following information so that they can treat it effectively:

  • Weight
  • Age
  • Condition
  • Product ingested
  • Amount consumed
  • Length of exposure

Once the individual is admitted, the healthcare provider will monitor the vital signs and blood pressure. Activated charcoal, medications, oxygen and intravenous fluid might be given in order to relieve the symptoms and eliminate the chlorine in the body.

 

Bee poisoning

January 24th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Poisons - (Comments Off on Bee poisoning)

Bee poisoning is basically a serious body reaction to the venom from a bee sting. Yellow jackets and wasps also have the same venom and can lead to the similar body reaction. In most cases, bee stings do not cause any serious reaction. Nevertheless, if an individual is allergic or had previous bee stings, they might experience a severe reaction. Always remember that bee poisoning entails immediate medical attention. Bee poisoning is also called apitoxin poisoning.

Who is at risk for bee poisoning?

Some individuals are at higher risk for bee poisoning than others. The risk factors for bee poisoning include:

  • Individuals living in areas close to beehives
  • Areas where bees are pollinating plants actively
  • Spending a lot of time outdoors
  • Previous allergic reaction to a bee sting
  • Intake of certain medications such as beta blockers

Adults are more likely to suffer from serious reactions to bee stings than children. Individuals who have an allergy to bee, yellow jacket or wasp venom should always bring a bee sting kit every time they go outdoors. A standard kit usually contains epinephrine that treats anaphylaxis which is a severe reaction that can make breathing difficult.

Symptoms of bee poisoning

The mild symptoms of bee sting include:

  • White spot where the stinger punctured the skin
  • Pain or itching at the sting site
  • Redness and minimal swelling on the skin surrounding the sting site

The symptoms of bee poisoning include:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of face, throat and lips
  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Headache
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
  • Abdominal cramping and diarrhea
  • Weak and rapid heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
bee sting-first aid

The bee stinger should be removed carefully

When to seek medical attention

Majority of individuals who have been stung by a bee do not need medical attention. Simply monitor any minor symptoms such as itching and mild swelling. In case they do not go away or the individual experiences severe symptoms, it is best to call a doctor.

Individuals who experience symptoms of anaphylaxis such as difficulty breathing or swallowing, individuals who experienced multiple bee stings or those who have a known allergy should seek emergency assistance right away.

Treating bee stings at home

The treatment for a bee sting involves the removal of the stinger and caring for the symptoms.

  • Remove the stinger using tweezers or credit card just be cautious not to crush the enclosed venom pouch
  • Clean the sting site with water and soap
  • Apply ice in order to ease the swelling and pain
  • Apply hydrocortisone to reduce the itching and redness
  • Provide an antihistamine such as Benadryl for swelling and itching

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In case the individual is experiencing an allergic reaction, call for emergency assistance right away. While waiting for the professionals to arrive, you can do the following:

  • Check the airway and breathing
  • Start CPR if needed
  • Remove constricting clothing and jewelry in case of swelling
  • Administer epinephrine if a bee sting kit is available
  • Position the individual in shock position if symptoms of shock are present
  • Keep the individual comfortable and warm

Individuals who love to spend time outdoors yet allergic to bee or wasp venom should always have a bee sting kit ready.

First Aid for Fever – Simple Steps

January 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Basic First Aid Skills - (Comments Off on First Aid for Fever – Simple Steps)

When one has a fever, it can indicate a variety of conditions, including infection. The normal temperature slightly differs from the average body temperature of 37 C or 98.6 F. For infants and young children, especially

Temperature monitoring is vital for fever

Temperature monitoring is vital when a person has fever.

the newborns, a slight elevated temperature can indicate a serious condition. As for the adults, a fever is not considered dangerous until it goes up to 39.4 C or 103 F or even higher. Adults who are suffering from fever below 38.9 C or 102 F should not be treated using any medications unless it is instructed by your doctor. For fever of 38.9 C or 102 F or higher, your doctor usually recommends over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Aspirin can be used by adults but it is not recommended for adolescents and children below 19 years old. Take note that it might trigger Reye’s syndrome, which is a rare but fatal disorder. Additionally, do not give ibuprofen to infants below 6 months old.

Taking the temperature

If you are using the latest thermometers, most of them provide a digital reading. Some take the temperature in the ear canal quickly, making them useful for older adults and young children. Other thermometers are used orally, under the arm or rectally. If you are going to use a digital thermometer, make sure that you have carefully read the instructions so that you can take the temperature accurately. On normal circumstances, the temperature is usually elevated at 4-6PM and at its lowest around 6AM.

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Oral route

Taking the temperature orally is simple. All you have to do is to position the bulb of the thermometer under the tongue. Instruct the individual to close the mouth for the required length of time or once you hear a beep, usually in a minute.

Axillary route

Even though this method could not provide accurate results, an oral thermometer can be used. Simply position the thermometer on the axilla with the arm down. The arm should be held across the chest. Wait for the results for one minute or when there is a beep.

Rectal route for infants

For young children, the rectal route of taking the temperature is usually used. Initially, apply a lubricant on the bulb of the thermometer and position the child on his/her stomach.  Insert the bulb carefully ½ – 1inch into the rectum and hold in place for a minute or until the beep sounds.

When to seek medical attention

It is important to seek medical help for fever if a child younger than 2 years old has fever for more than a day or more than 3 days as well as babies older than 3 months with a temperature of 38.9 C or 102 F or higher. As for adults, temperature higher than 39.4 C or 103 F or fever for more than 3 days should seek medical attention. It is important that you learn all about fever and the causes. Taking the temperature is an important part of  advanced first aid training that you have to be familiar with.