First Aid for SummerHow lovely is it to be in the open air with family and friends at last? Enjoying those special times together under the sun. Playing, eating, drinking, and relaxing after some difficult and isolated times.

However, as enjoyable as it is to be out in the sun, we need to be careful and take care of ourselves and those around us. Young and old can fall foul of summer mishaps.

Would you know what to do to help someone with a bee sting, heat exhaustion or sunburn? Simple steps can alleviate suffering and sometimes even save lives. For example, would you know how to help someone choking on their burger or burning their arm on the BBQ?

Let us look at a few simple first aid steps, that hopefully you won’t need this summer, but if you unfortunately do will help you keep calm and carry on.

When dealing with an insect sting it is important not to squeeze any of the poison further into the wound. Therefore, using a sharp edge such as a credit card will scrape the sting out rather than release any further poison which could happen if using tweezers. Raise the injury if possible and apply an ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for 10 minutes. Should the pain persist or get worse seek medical advice. Monitor for an allergic reaction. Should an allergic reaction occur call 999.

The beautiful weather over the last few weeks has been enjoyed by most and many who are able to keep in the shade. However, some have suffered from heat exhaustion. This is where the body’s core temperature exceeds 38 degrees. The body is responding to a loss of water and body salts due to excessive sweating. This can be caused by working or exercising in extreme temperatures. Signs and symptoms can include pale, sweaty skin, nausea, fast weak pulse and breathing, cramps in arms and legs, the casualty may say they feel cold but feel hot to touch. Take the casualty into the cool. Remove excessive clothing and lay them down. Provide the casualty with plenty of water to drink. Should the casualty deteriorate and develop heat stroke call 999 as this can be serious; the core body temperature has exceeded 40 degrees. Signs and symptoms can include high body temperature, confusion, seizure, throbbing headache, nausea, and unconsciousness. Whilst awaiting the emergency services, cool the casualty as quickly as possible; full immersion in water, a cool shower or bags of ice wrapped in a tea towel and placed on neck, groin, and armpits. A cooling fan can help too with both heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

A burn can be caused by the sun, BBQ, hot drink and many other sources found in our gardens. Any type of burn requires cooling immediately; preferably for 20 minutes under cool running water. Never use ice on a burn or burst any blisters. Use a loose covering of clingfilm to protect the burn after cooling and to keep it sterile whilst seeking medical help.

So those are just a few simple first aid steps that you could take should the need arise. Hopefully it won’t and you will enjoy a trouble-free summer.

Should you wish to learn more about Emergency First Aid, First Aid or indeed would like to take a refresher course, please visit our website for further details of the courses we offer.

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