To almost all of us, home is a “safe haven” and a comfort zone. However, unfortunate incidents can not always be avoided, especially with curious children, hasty teens, distracted adults, and unagile grandparents around.
A consultation with your doctor and the ongoing pandemic makes for a hefty combination. What’s more, it comes with risks attached. Thus, it is always a good idea to stay prepared and take care of some common injuries by yourself.
At Cure.Fit, our expert team has put together a comprehensive list of some basic first aid guidelines to help you attend to common injuries.
HOW TO SAFELY TREAT BURNS
Burns are quite common and frequently occur when we accidentally touch a hot stove, curling iron, spill hot beverage or expose ourselves to the sun for too long. Though treating minor burns at home is fairly easy, you need to act promptly. Here is our suggestion of how you should go about treating burns:
Step 1: Secure the environment
Immediately put aside everything else you are doing, and make the environment safe by turning off any open fires, irons, cookers, hair straighteners, and matches.
Step 2: Assess the Burn
Carefully look at the appearance of the burn and note specific characteristics. This will help you decide the type of burn and the method of treatment. Typically, there are three primary types of burns — First-, Second-, and Third-Degree. Let’s take a look at how to recognize these:
- First-Degree Burns — Being the mildest, first-degree burns only affects the top layer of the skin and does not blister. These are the easiest to treat at home. However, even minor burns like first-degree burns require professional intervention if they are on the palm, face, groin, or fingers.
- Second-Degree Burns — Typically prone to infection and causing the skin to blister, second-degree burns can be treated at home with some precautions.
- Third-Degree Burns — The most severe, third-degree burns affect the innermost tissues and turns the skin around the burn white. Never attempt to treat a third-degree burn at home. Always seek immediate medical assistance as the burn will get infected if not handled properly.
Step 3: Hold the Burn under Running Water
Once you find out the type of burn, proceed with holding the burn under cold running water unless it is a third-degree burn. For third-degree burns, seek immediate medical assistance. Nevertheless, do be aware of the following:
- Hold the injury under cold running water for around 15–20 minutes. This will help pull the heat away from the skin and reduce the chances of inflammation.
- You may also take a bowl of cold water and place the injury in it for a few minutes.
- Never use ice instead of cold water. Using ice on the injury will result in frostbite on the burned skin.
- Avoid applying butter or oil on the burns as it can increase the likelihood of infection.
Step 4: Remove Any Accessories
Burns can cause swelling. Wearing accessories around the affected area will add to the discomfort. Thus, it is best to remove them.
Step 5: Apply Antibiotic Cream
Ointments such as Bacitracin or Polysporin greatly help reduce the chances of infection. Therefore, after washing the burn with running cold water, apply an antibiotic cream.
Step 6: Monitor the Burn
Watch the burn to see if a blister pop on its own or by accident. If it does, rinse it with clean water and mild soap. Apply an antibiotic cream once it is dry.
Burns tend to get worse over the course of a few hours. So, rather than covering the injury with a bandage or gauge immediately, make sure you monitor it for some time. If you still find the burn painful and if it starts oozing, quickly seek professional help.
HOW TO SAFELY TREAT CUTS
Small hazards that result in minor cuts and scrapes are a part of everyday life, especially when you are actively engaging in DIY crafts and cooking. With proper care, minor cuts can be treated at home. However, it is important to watch out for severe bleeding. Further, if the person is on blood-thinning medications, we suggest getting medical help immediately. Here is how to treat minor cuts and scrapes:
Step 1: Rinse
- Rinse your wound with lukewarm running water for a few minutes to remove foreign objects and visible dirt.
- You can also clean the wound using an antibacterial wash or gel.
Step 2: Control the Bleeding
Use a clean, dry bandage (or any clean absorbent cloth) and apply gentle pressure over the wound until the bleeding stops.
Step 3: Assess the Injury
Normally, the pressure on the wound will promote blood clotting, which will help the bleeding stop within 15–20 minutes. However, it may continue to ooze a bit for about 45 minutes. Nevertheless, seek professional medical assistance if;
- The bleeding continues even after 15 minutes,
- Or, there is debris stuck to the injury that is too hard to clean.
Step 4: Apply Antibiotic Cream
- Apply a layer of antibacterial cream as it helps prevent infection and keeps the dressing from sticking to the wound.
- If it’s a smaller cut, you can use a bandage with self-adhesive. However, if the cut is significantly larger or deeper, you’ll need to use a larger piece of gauge or bandage.
- Fold or cut the dressing in a way that it covers the entire wound. Be careful not to touch the dressing’s inner side.
Step 5: Monitor the Cut
With proper treatment, the cut will start healing in a few weeks. However, deeper cuts might take over a month to completely heal. Signs of the cut healing include reduced inflammation, swelling, less or no more pain, and the formation of a scab.
Despite the efforts you put in keeping your wound clean and dry, sometimes the cut might get infected. Ensure you seek assistance if:
- The swelling and pain increases;
- The wound produces pus;
- Or, the skin turns red and is very warm to touch.
Also, if you haven’t received a tetanus booster in the last 10 years, make sure you see a doctor to catch-up on your shots.
Home is where the heart is. Unfortunately, it’s also where the cooking stove, sharp-edged furniture, knives, and tools are. We hope this mini-guide helps you take care of the minor injuries without having to step out during this time. Stay at home and stay safe!