You hear a crash and a yell from the other room. As you rush over, you see your child on the floor grabbing his or her arm. Your adrenaline starts flowing, but do you know what you should do in a situation like this?
You can avoid panic and be ready to help by knowing how to avoid these 10 first aid mistakes for common injuries and illnesses.
1. BURNS- Don’t put ice, butter or petroleum jelly on a burn. Instead, run cool water over the area and cover it with a bandage or antibiotic cream. Seek help for bad burns, such as those that blister.
2. KNOCKED OUT TOOTH- Don’t try to put a knocked-out tooth back in the socket. Instead, rinse the tooth gently and put it in a cup of milk. See your dentist as soon as possible.
3. STUCK OBJECTS- Don’t try to remove small items stuck in your child’s ears or nose yourself. Using objects such as swabs and hairpins in these areas can be dangerous. Call your doctor for advice.
4. HEAD INJURY- Don’t move someone who might have a head injury unless it’s absolutely necessary. Signs of head injury include loss of consciousness, stiff neck or headache. In this case, call 911.
5. POISONING- If you suspect poisoning, don’t immediately give ipecac syrup. This can make some situations worse. The first step is to call the National Capital Poison Center at 800-222-1222.
6. SPRAINS- Don’t use a heating pad on a sprain. Instead, use a cold compress or ice to help with swelling and control the pain (don’t put ice directly on the skin. Always wrap in a towel or cloth). If your child can’t put weight on the injury, or is in a lot of pain, go to the emergency room.
7. NOSEBLEEDS- Don’t let your child lean back to stop a nosebleed. Instead, have them sit upright and lean forward and pinch just below the bridge of the nose until the bleeding stops. If it continues for longer than 10 minutes, or if you suspect your child swallowed at lot of blood, go to the ER.
8. BEE STING- If stung by a bee, don’t leave the stinger in the skin. Instead, remove the stinger, wash the area with soap and water and cover with a bandage. Use an ice pack to help reduce swelling and monitor your child for signs of a severe allergic reaction including itchiness, hives and difficulty breathing. If any of these occur, head straight to the emergency room.
9. SEIZURES- Don’t put anything in a child’s mouth if he or she is having a seizure. Instead, lay them on the floor on their side and place a soft object under their head. Loosen clothing, especially around the neck and track how long the seizure lasts.
10. EYE PROBLEMS- Don’t let your child rub their eye to get out dirt or debris. This could cause scratches to the eye surface. Instead, rinse the eye with tap water.
If you do have a first aid problem, and your doctor’s office is closed, call First Call for Children at 303-563-3300 for free pediatric advice and information. Brought to you by Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, the line is staffed by specially trained pediatric nurses from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. M-F and 24 hours weekends and holidays.
And if you DO need to head to an emergency room, don’t forget to look up HealthONE ER wait times in advance by
- CHECKING online
- CALLING 720-523-3888 and enter your zip code
- TEXTING “ER” to 720-523-3888
- Or download the new app from iTunes to check HealthOne ER Wait Times