Teach your kids the following first-aid steps for dealing with these common mishaps when an adult may not be immediately available.
By Hinda Mandell
1. Bee Stings
When a child is stung by a bee, she should watch for the development of an allergic reaction, such as hives or dizziness. If this happens, immediately tell an adult or call 911. Otherwise, remove a stinger, if one is present, with clean tweezers, and wash the area. An ice cube can lessen the sting.
Apply ice, or a packet of frozen veggies to a minor burn.
For a small cut that is bleeding, rinse the affected area with cool water and then take a clean towel and apply direct pressure to the cut. Most cuts should stop bleeding after a couple of minutes. Apply a band-aid, the more colorful, the better!
4. Dog Bites
Never pet animals you don’t know, and don’t approach a dog that is eating or playing with puppies. If a child is bitten, wash the affected area with soap and seek the advice of a physician to find out about the risk of rabies. Try to get information from the pet’s owner about the name of the veterinarian so an adult can check its vaccine history. Call 911 if the wound is severe.
If a child falls on the stairs or from a bike and can’t get up, don’t try to move them. Call 911, explain clearly where the accident happened, stay with injured child and be calm.
If a nosebleed is caused by an injury, from contact with a basketball, for instance, the child should see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out the possibility of serious head injury. However, if the bleeding happens out of the blue, the child should sit up or stand, tilt the head forward and squeeze the two nostrils together with tissues. KidsHealth.org suggests applying pressure on the nose for 10 minutes.
7. Poison Ivy
Be on the look-out for plants with three, red-tinged leaves. If a child touches poison ivy take a shower to wash off as much plant oil as possible. Don’t take a bath, which can spread the plant’s itchy oils to other body parts. If an itchy, red rash develops on the skin call the doctor.
Pay attention to whether the splinter is from wood, glass or metal so a child can tell an adult or doctor if need be. Use clean tweezers to remove the splinter if possible. An adult may have to scratch the skin with a sterilized needle to allow for easier grasping of the splinter. Visit a doctor if the area begins to bleed or appears infected.
Hinda Mandell is a freelance writer who lives in Needham, Massachusetts.
Updated August 2012