We have compiled a short list of allergens and injuries that we find ourselves being more susceptible to during the summer and ways to combat them. Activities such as hiking, cooking, sports, camping and traveling are at an optimum high and can expose us to a certain degree of minor harm.
You should run cold water over the affected area for 5-10 minutes. Then apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment. If it hurts, put a cloth bandage on and a cold, dry compress, such as a bag of frozen vegetables. Loosely wrap a gauze bandage around the burn and take acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen to relieve the pain. Never put butter on a burn or pop any blisters that for as you could damage the skin and cause infection.
If you get sun burned soothe the skin with a cool, damp washcloth and apply Aloe Vera. Drink lots of water and wear loose clothing.
Caring for wounds
Some cuts heal more quickly when left uncovered to stay dry. But if the cut is on a part of the body that might get dirty or rub against clothes, it will need a bandage to protect it. Change the bandage every day or whenever it gets wet or dirty. Once a scab has formed a bandage is no longer needed. You should visit a doctor if you experience the following:
- The cut is deep and long. You may need stitches and a tetanus shot.
- The cut or scrape is from a dirty or rusty object. You may need a tetanus shot.
- The injury is from an animal or human bite.
- You can’t stop the bleeding with direct pressure.
- You can’t get dirt out of the wound.
- The cut is on your face or near a joint, like on your fingers.
- The skin around the cut gets red and swollen or develops red streaks.
- Pus drains from the cut.
Animal Bites and Scratches
It is important to remember that friendly pets can often bite or scratch humans. In the case of this happening, you should hold a towel to the area to stop the bleeding, clean the wound with soap and water and cover it with a clean bandage or gauze pad. If you experience the following results of a bite or scratch you should seek medical attention:
- The bite was caused by an animal you don’t know, or by any wild animal such as a badger or bat. You may need a tetanus vaccine.
- The bite is large, or it doesn’t stop bleeding after you’ve held pressure on it for 15 minutes. It may need stitches.
- If you are unable to bend or straighten the body part or you’ve lost feeling in it.
- The wound is red, swollen, or oozing fluid.
How to treat a Bee Sting
If the insect has left behind a stinger, remove it from the skin so less of the venom gets into your body. Don’t squeeze it out as more venom could enter your skin. You can scrape out the stinger with the edge of a credit card or the dull edge of a knife. Once the stinger is out or if there is no stinger, wash the area around the sting with soap and water. Hold an ice pack to the area to stop it from swelling. Mix baking soda with water and spread it over the stung area to relieve pain.
Signs of allergens to insects
It’s normal for skin around the insect sting to swell up and appear red. Go to the emergency room if you see any of these signs of an allergic reaction:
- Hives — red, itchy bumps on the skin
- Stomach cramps, vomiting or diarrhoea
- Swelling of the tongue
- Trouble breathing, wheezing
Anyone who has allergies to bees, wasps, or any stinging insects should own an epinephrine auto-injector and keep I with them at home, work, and/or school in case of a sting.
What should you store in my First Aid kit?
- Adhesive tape
- Alcohol wipes
- Aloe Vera gel
- Antibiotic ointment
- Bandages in different sizes
- Cold packs
- Elastic bandages
- Gauze rolls and pads
- Hand sanitizer (for your travel first aid kit)
- Latex-free gloves
- Pain relievers like acetaminophenand ibuprofen
- Saline wound wash
- Scissors and tweezers