As the good weather arrives and people spend more and more time outdoors, families need to be ready for a probable increase in the need for a first aid product.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) say that over one million children under the age of fifteen experience accidents in and around the home every year where they are taken to Accident & Emergency Departments. Many more are treated at home or at their local GP surgery. I think that these figures are astounding. Most of the accidents happen in the late afternoon or early evening, mostly in the summer during school holidays and at weekends.
Even more astounding is that two thirds of fathers are only able to administer very basic first aid. They might be able to deal with bruises, cuts and grazes but confidence drains away when faced with broken bones, choking, head injuries and more serious incidents.
St John Ambulance run various first aid courses for parents, grandparents and other carers. The British Red Cross also runs courses for parents includung essential lifesaving skills. These can be arranged locally within parent and toddler or small family groups. The biggest problem, however, is that most parents do not have the time to attend these courses at a time when they need them. The leading first aid charities are now recognising this with ongoing campaigns to make it easier for parents to learn the skills in their own home.
First Aid Resources
St John Ambulance have launched a campaign to encourage parents to learn more first aid skills. This takes the form of a number of easy-to-read fact sheets for parents and they can be downloaded from www.elastoplast.co.uk. It is advised that parents download and print the fact sheets and then store them with their first aid kit so that they are readily available in an emergency.
A number of different topics are covered from the British Red Cross’s Children First Aid website at www.childrenfirstaid.redcross.org.uk. The site also offers a number of different resources including videos, kids quizzes, animations and audio info tools. Parents can now easily learn a range of basic first aid skills that might ultimately save the life of a child.
Home First Aid Kits
Keeping a comprehensive first aid kit at home is essential for families with children. It should be located where it is likely to be needed the most which is probably near the kitchen or garden. It should be easily in reach for the parents but not the children. This site is here to help you make sure that your kit contains the essential items for acute minor wounds and injuries. Ready-made kits are available and this site will advise you on the best kits to buy and what contents you should be looking for.
Although first aid kits are not particularly useful for serious injuries, they can provide immediate relief from minor cuts, grazes, burns and insect bites. As well as plasters and antiseptics, a good first aid kit should contain various other products such as burn creams, antihistamine tablets, bite and sting creams, paracetamol and anti-diarrhoeal medication.
Plasters and Dressings
Cuts and grazes are the most common injuries in young children and most heal after treatment without further complications. However, a lot of parents do not know the best procedure to follow with many believing it is not necessary to cover a minor cut with a plaster. It is always advisable to use a plaster to help prevent infection. An ideal plaster should maintain humidity and supply oxygen to help with wound healing, protect the wound from further damage and bacterial infection and it must be absorbent to remove excess fluid and non-adhesive. And, if your kids are like mine, it should have a dinosaur printed on it!
In the case of deeper cuts and burns, hydrocolloid dressings can help to reduce scarring too. They consist of a clear flexible dressing with a hydrocolloid island that helps in cushioning the wound. Alginate dressings offer extra absorbency for weeping or bleeding wounds and consist of a clear flexible dressing with an alginate pad to help control bleeding and reduce scarring.
All wounds, however minor, are prone to infection. Dirty wounds, like dog bites or gardening injuries are at a higher risk of infection. If an infection does set in, the treatment becomes prolonged with wound pain and swelling. There are many different antiseptic products available from wound washes to sprays, wipes and creams.
Some antiseptic creams contain additional ingredients such as local anaesthetics to relieve pain. Some contain natural ingredients like tea tree oil, emu oil and manuka honey.