- Your house will be a mess until Fall
- You will run out of everything, everyday.
- You will most likely experience a “First Aid” situation.
I can’t help you with the house work, or run to COSTCO for more juice, but I can help you gain the skills needed to handle just about any First Aid situation that will arise around the home this summer.
Firstly, don’t panic!
I know that sounds silly, but panicking just makes it worse. The kid is screaming, and you are screaming and all heck breaks loose. Blood is something we are not supposed to see; it’s supposed to stay inside where it belongs, not dripping all over the kitchen floor or worse your living-room carpet. So stay calm, use reassuring words.
Note: You will know the scary OMG wounds that will require additional care when you see one. If in doubt, and it is truly an OMG moment, call 911. Additionally, nothing in this post is designed to replace a full Pediatric/Adult First Aid Class.
Superficial wounds can produce super volumes of blood, and in most cases it looks worse at first glance than it actually is. Unless your child has been into your garden implements; it most likely will not result into a run to Urgent Care.
Mom’s, Dad’s & Sitters now is the time to brush up on First Aid Skills
Caring for the wound:
Most Superficial wounds do a great job of cleaning themselves out. I don’t recommend running water over cuts and scrapes unless there is a great deal of debris in the wound that won’t come out any other way. If this is the case; having a bottle of sterile water or saline is best. Brushing off debris with a sterile gauze pad is most likely all that is needed. Then apply dirrect pressure with a new clean sterile gauze for as long as it takes for the bleeding to stop.
- NOTE: In cases of deep wounds that require the care of a Doctor, don’t lift the dressing off the wound to check to see if the bleeding has stopped. Just continue to apply direct pressure, and applying more gauze as needed until bleeding has stopped, and you can dress the wound well enough to transport the injured person to ER. If there is an impaled object; leave it!. Then head over to Urgent Care or your local Emergency Room.
- It is not recommended that you transport other people’s children in your own vehicle without expressed written or verbal permission.
After all bleeding has stopped; now is the time to apply the the final dressing to the injured area. If the wound is small (scrape/scratch) and easily covered with a fabric adhesive bandage, then a application of an Antibiotic ointment may be desirable before a final dressing to protect the wound. In some cases, a gauze pad and rolled gauze is best. Please keep in mind that the top dressing is not a tourniquet; it’s a dressing, so dont over tighten the dressing. If there are changes to the skin color, then the dressing might be too tight.
First Aid Kits:
You will note that I talk about gauze pads and rolled gauze. In my opinion, these two items are the best to have in your first aid kit. If you do not have a great home first aid kit, pick one up. Not all First Aid Kits are created equal, and some aren’t worth the case they came in.
I prefer fabric bandages over plastic any day. Fabric gives, where plastic will just pop off. A good first aid kit will have the following contents:
- (20) Fabric bandages, 1″ x 3″
- (16) Adhesive plastic bandages, 1″ x 3″
- (3) Knuckle fabric bandages
- (2) Fingertip fabric bandages
- (1) Triangular sling/bandage, w/2 safety pins, 40″
- (1) Conforming gauze roll bandage, 2″
- (1) Conforming gauze roll bandage, 3″
- (6) Gauze dressing pads, 3″ x 3″
- (4) Gauze dressing pads, 4″ x 4″
- (1) Trauma pad, 5″ x 9″
- (2) Sterile eye pads
- (6) Alcohol cleansing pads
- (12) BZK antiseptic towelettes
- (6) Antibiotic ointment packs
- (6) Insect sting relief pads
- (6) First aid/burn cream, 0.9 gm. packs
- (1) Eye wash, 4 oz.
- (1) Instant cold compress, 4″ x 5″
- (6) Aspirin tablets
- (1) First aid tape roll, 1″ x 5 yd.
- (1) Kit scissors, angled blades, 4″
- (1) Tweezers, plastic, 4″
- (4) Exam quality vinyl gloves, 2 pairs
Early on in this post, I stated “nothing in this post is designed to replace a full Pediatric/Adult First Aid Class.” And I still stand by that statement! If you want to pick up a class and learn more about responding to medical emergencies (and I urge you to do so) there are many in the Gig Harbor Area. The West Sound Office of the American Red Cross in Bremerton has many classes throughout the month, and the calendar and class registrations can be found here: Schedule of Classes
I’m aways available to answer any questions you might have, just post them below in the comments. If you would like to sponsor a Neighborhood First Aid Class; we would be happy to bring one to your community.
Have a safe and happy summer!