Joanne Gallacher
By Joanne Gallacher

First Aid help and advice


First aid help for parents

First aid help for parentsOver one million children experience accidents in and around the home each year. Falls are the most common causes of accidents with 66,000 youngsters aged between 5 and 14 taken to casualty departments throughout the UK.

In addition, around 15,000 children are admitted to hospital suffering from burns. However, Nurse Kathleen McGraw said the statistics aren't as scary as they sound. "You do have to put it into context, children do tend to be accident prone when they first start to walk and crawl and move around. It is part of the way in which we learn," she said.

So, what should be in your first aid box? "You may have cuts and bruises [to deal with] so think of the ages of people who are in your house. A scrape is a scrape whether you're eight months old or 80 years old, the principles remain the same - have things that can cleanse the wound. Have things that you can treat cuts and bruises. These are things that will stop wounds from getting infected. Things like antiseptic creams, gels and sprays."

Kathleen says there are many old wives tales regarding how to deal with cuts and burns. She warns to ignore the tales. "The most dangerous one is the old tale about putting butter on burns. No, no, no and many times no. The best thing to do with a burn is to run cold water and run that over the injury for 10 or 15 minutes and then cover it with a cold bandage to soothe. I've also been asked an awful lot about putting steaks onto black eyes. I think the only thing to do with a steak is to cook it utterly perfectly and enjoy it, (if you're not vergetarian of course) The best thing for bruising is to have a packet of frozen peas in your fridge. It can take away irritation and inflammation. For children have ice lollies in your freezer. If they cut their lip or chip a tooth this will take down the swelling and reduce the pain." What about pain relief for kids? Kathleen advises: "proper paracetemol medicine is perfectly safe from the age of 3-6 months onwards."

To sum up, it would always be advisable to have a first aid box in your home and if you use any plasters or medicine make sure you top up anything you have used. Also, if your child is suffering from any other health problem like the coughing condition croup always refer to your doctor/GP for further advice and feedback.


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