Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • Preventing Falls, Poisoning, and Kitchen Knives

    Parents are pretty familiar by now with the different dangers that lurk within the home. It’s even more difficult if there are kids or elderly in the house. Sometimes, even after meticulous childproofing, there are still accidents waiting to happen that slip past our gaze every now and then. We’ve listed three of the common hazards at home - falls, poisoning, and sharp objects in the kitchen - as well as how to prevent these from happening in the future.

    Catch Me, I’m Falling

    Falls are at the top of the causes of injuries and deaths inside the home in America. Kids below age 5 and adults at age 70 and above are most at risk. To prevent falls:

    • Use non-skid bath mats. A non-skid floor will give a better floor grip for anyone in the room. In addition, install handle bars for added support and never leave water on the floor.
    • Keep staircases a safe zone. Always make sure that there aren’t things lying around on stairs and walkways. Keep handrails on both sides of the stairs. These should be illuminated adequately to prevent accidents, especially during the night. If you have kids, safety gates that are hardware-mounted are preferable than pressure-mounted.
    • Skip the throw rugs. Throw rugs can be a cause of tripping and falling. If you must use them, make sure to tack or tape them snugly on the the floor.
    • Keep a night light. It’s advised to have a night light in bathrooms, bedrooms, and halls.
    • Keep an eye on windows. Windows have been a huge home hazard in New York City, but when they required window guards in every home, the number of window-related accidents had dropped to a third. Window screens may not be enough to keep kids from falling, so you may want to install guards that have quick-release mechanisms. Also, don’t place furniture near windows where children can climb up.

    Bubbling Up

    Poisoning is a very serious and fatal hazard, and 90% of cases happen inside the home. Not surprisingly, it is the second top cause of deaths at home. Not all poisonous substances are fatal though, they can cause different health problems. Here are the top poisonous substances ingested or inhaled by kids under age 5:

    • Household products
    • Beauty products
    • Prescription medicine, vitamin supplements
    • Plants
    • Carbon monoxide and lead

    As a parent, here are some tips on what you can do to prevent your children from getting poisoned:

    • Be aware. Know more about the substances in your home. If possible, find out what properties and poisonous components are present in these items. Common products include cosmetics, furniture polish, dishwashing agents, fertilizer and other gardening products.
    • Go child-safe. When you go shopping, choose products that come with child-proof lids as much as you can.
    • It’s all about location. Don’t store harmful substances where kids can easily reach them and grab them. Don’t keep medicine in drawers, purses, or pockets of your clothes. Don’t change their containers, either. Placing medicine and other products in food containers can be dangerous, especially if you don’t know what the substance or pill looks like.
    • Keep an eye on them. It’s impossible to always keep your eyes on your kids, but it wouldn’t hurt to make an effort. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that poisoning accidents usually take place when parents are busy with chores (cleaning or cooking) even when they are at home.
    • Hold off on the science. When using chemical products, if you must, open a window or turn the exhaust on. Also - for whatever reason - never mix cleaning products or other chemical substances together - if the packaging tells you not to. For instance, ammonia and bleach combined can create a toxic gas.
    • Know the poison control hotline number. Post the number on the fridge or next to the phone. Better yet, keep it on speed dial. The number is: (800) 222-1222.

    Knives are for Cooking

    Third on our list are the dangers that come from kitchen knives, along with other sharp objects in the house. Here’s one tip that may seem a little odd, though: choose knives that are sharp all the time. Dull-edged knives require a whole lot of pressure, while sharp knives require less, so if you use sharp knives, it’s less likely for you to slip your grip and cut yourself. Here are other tips about knife safety:

    • There’s a right way to cut. Depending on the cutting job at hand, you should only use the right type and size of knife. Case in point: small knives are ideal for vegetables. Long knives are ideal for carving meat. Also, when cutting or chopping, never hold anything else in your hand - and always use a big cutting board.
    • Keep your eyes on the prize. With kids running around and tasting everything on the counter, you can get so easily distracted. Having a TV on and phones ringing can also shift your focus elsewhere, which of course, renders you more likely to cut yourself.
    • Don’t catch falling knives. We know you’ve got some great reflexes, but if it’s a knife that’s falling off the table, never attempt to catch it. Move away and let it fall. It should only take a second, then pick it up off the floor.
    • Be wary of the work area. When cooking, you can put down a knife here and the next thing you know it’s covered by a lid, or a towel or a piece of napkin. Not seeing knives can easily end up in cuts and injury. As soon as you finish using it, go ahead and clean and dry it and put it away where everyone can see it safely. For knife storage, use knife blocks instead of drawers.

    These are the top three causes of home accidents. When things like these happen, it’s best to keep your composure and think clearly. Locate the first aid kit and mend the wounds. If the injury is severe, call 911. But above all, prevention (using these tips above) is always better than cure.

  • Summary of Posts: March 31st 2013

    The spotlight is on the heart this cycle in FirstAidMart, or more specifically, when the heart suffers an attack. Get ready to learn everything you never knew about sudden cardiac arrests. Be sure to pay close attention, the tips in these topics could help you save a life one day - even your own!

    • There are many pieces of medical equipment that you may be familiar with by name, but have no idea how they actually work. One of those could be the tool that medical professionals use to save the lives of heart attack victims. Learn all about how defibrillators operate from How Stuff Works.
    • Before the medics show up to the scene of a heart attack with the defibrillator, there are crucial minutes that can be the difference between life and death for the victim. During that time, CPR should be used to keep the person alive. Make sure you know all there is to know about this life-saving skill, from Discovery Fit & Heath.
    • A heart attack is a serious enough emergency when it strikes at a public place. But what happens when you suffer one alone, without others around to call 9-1-1 or perform CPR? Don’t let yourself be caught unawares; read eHow.com’s tips on how to deal with that very situation.
    • The best way to overcome any situation, whether it be a heart attack or a hurricane, is to be prepared. The CDC has all the information you need about the signs and symptoms of a heart attack to make sure you are.
    • Surviving a heart attack is only the first step to a full recovery. Make sure you take the proper steps to make a full recovery by reading WebMD’s article on what to do After a Heart Attack.
    • Since surviving the first heart attack is much more likely than living after later events, we wrapped up this cycle by focusing on how to lower your chances of experiencing another. Don’t think that getting through one means you’re out of the woods, as there are major lifestyle changes you need to make to ensure a full-recovery.
  • Life After an SCA

    A sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), better known as a heart attack, is a serious medical emergency that can strike without warning. Luckily, due to advances in modern medicine, most people are able to survive their first such event. However, surviving the initial attack does not alway guarantee a full recovery, or that there will not be future attacks. After the initial danger is avoided, there are many obstacles, lifestyle changes, and other steps that an individual must go through to ensure a full recovery and lower the risk of future attacks.

    One of the most universal lifestyle changes for people attempting to regain their health after their first heart attack has to do with their medication. Whether it is simply a change in the type and frequency of the medication they are taking, or the beginning of a new medication altogether, there are sure to be changes. Keeping the types, times, and amounts of all dosages is crucial for a recovering patient. Medication will not only treat symptoms such as lingering chest pain, but can also act to control some of the contributing factors to the attack (such as cholesterol and blood pressure).

    New medication is just one of the changes that will take place after an SCA. Others include dealing with negative emotional responses such as anxiety or depression.

  • How to Survive After a Heart Attack

    While heart attacks may be more common than we would like in our society today, it is comforting to know at least that most people survive their first sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). However, heart attacks are not a one-time thing, and even if you survive one, it does not mean you cannot be a victim again - not to mention the long-term damage even one event can have. Don’t worry, though, because there are steps you can take to ensure a full recovery, and decrease your risk of future attacks. WebMD has more on the subject.

    Source: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/what-to-do-after-a-heart-attack

  • Reading the Signs of an SCA

    It’s an unfortunate fact of life that heart attacks, or sudden cardiac arrests (SCA), are an all-too-common event in our society. Even though you may take every precaution to lower your risk of attack, the simple process of aging increases your likelihood of becoming a victim. Be sure to prepare yourself to recognize the signs of an SCA, by reading the Center for Disease Control’s official page on recognizing the “Signs and Symptoms” of a heart attack.

    Source: http://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/signs_symptoms.htm

  • All By Yourself...

    With the advancements in modern medicine today, heart attacks are not necessarily fatal events. As long as help arrives in time, CPR and a defibrillator have a good chance of saving a victim’s life. In some cases, though, a heart attack can strike when you’re alone. If this happens, you won’t have the help of friends, family, or bystanders to call for help and perform CPR. Learn from eHow the steps you can take to survive a heart attack if you’re alone.

    Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_136303_survive-heart-attack.html

  • SCA: The First Line of Defense

    SCA, known also as sudden cardiac arrest, or a heart attack, is an all-too-common affliction. While medical professionals have advanced equipment, such as defibrillators, to treat victims of these events, they are often not on the scene until minutes after these events begin. If you are present at the scene of an SCA, there are ways that you can help the victim prior to the professionals arriving. Learn everything you need to know about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) from Discovery Fit & Health.

    Source: http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/first-aid/cpr5.htm

  • Decoding Defibrillators

    Unfortunately, heart attacks are pretty common in our society today. Even if you have not had one yourself, you may know someone in your life - a friend or family member - who has suffered through a cardiac event. One of the best tools medical professionals have to fight heart attacks is the defibrillator. Although you may be familiar with heart attacks, chances are you are less so with these pieces of equipment and what they do. Let this collection of videos from How Stuff Works fill you in on everything you didn’t know about defibrillators.

    Source: http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2009/04/16/how-a-heart-defibrillator-works/

  • Cold Sore Home Remedies

    Cold sores, sometimes called canker sores or fever blisters, are most commonly found at the lips and mouth area. These are caused by the Herpes simplex virus 1. These are very painful sores and most people with cold sores want to get rid of a cold sore immediately. This article will discuss how to take care of cold sores at home.

    Stress Management

    Before we delve into the ways of how to treat cold sores, we need to talk about the possible triggers that can aggravate the condition and hold back the treatment. One word: Stress. Avoid stress as much as possible as this contributes to the development (or aggravation, if the cold sore already exists) of the blisters. This may be easier said than done, but there are a number of ways to get rid of a cold sore using stress busting techniques. One way is plain rest and relaxation. Just breathe in and participate in activities that help you relax the most. Listen to music, do yoga exercises, get an afternoon nap, read a good book or do some meditation. Bear in mind to wear sunscreen if you plan on going outdoors, though, since cold sores are sensitive to sunlight and heat.

    First Things First

    Cold sores are a common ground for people seeking pain relief. There are many cold sore remedies that include prescription medicine or over-the-counter analgesics. However, more people opt for cold sore home remedies that are safer and more accessible. These can also give quick results without going to the doctor.

    First off, prevention of getting others infected is of utmost importance. Some ways to avoid contamination of others include avoiding contact of others with the site of the cold sores. Also, avoid sharing eating utensils or toothbrushes. Experts also advise the discarding of toothpaste that has come in contact with the affected person’s toothbrush.

    Proper Personal Hygiene

    Other common remedies for cold sores include the use of petroleum based products to cover and protect the area of blisters. This ensures that any bacteria in the atmosphere will not proliferate on the area of the cold sores. Aside from speeding up the healing process, this also helps protect the person from re-infecting himself in other parts of the body. This usually occurs if the person touches the area of the blisters and comes in contact with other open areas of the body. Good hygiene and proper hand washing are key elements to help prevent this from happening.

    Low Temperature

    A more direct approach includes the use of cold temperature to numb the area and lessen the pain caused by the sore. Cold sore remedies involve the application of an ice cube or an ice pack directly over the site of the blisters. You should keep the ice cube right on the area of cold sores until the ice cube melts away. When this happens, use a soft towel or linen and carefully pat the area dry. Be gentle enough and make sure to avoid rubbing the area. This may cause further irritation and may aggravate the pain sensation. After the area has been dried, take a cotton ball with a little rubbing alcohol in it and dab this on to the area of blistering. This helps kill the bacteria still present in the cold sore area.

    Seek Professional Help

    These are only some of the most common home remedies for cold sores. Mostly, these cold sore remedies are palliative and are focused on pain management. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it is still best to consult your physician for expert medical advice.

  • Summary of Posts: March 24th 2013

    We have some great topics coming your way for FirstAidMart this cycle. Learn about the pros and cons of bandages and leaving a cut exposed to open air. Get tips on how to prepare for an earthquake. Also hear the touching story of a man saved by the quick action and first aid knowledge of his co-workers. All this and more!

    • Keep a bandage on that cut, or leave it exposed to the open air so it can scab? This question comes up regularly for many people, and it should be no surprise that there are advantages to each. Learn arguments for both side from eHow.
    • Administration of the Seaman’s Protection Act has been transferred from the federal courts to OSHA. Learn about the new whistleblower procedures from The Maritime Executive.
    • Do you live in a place where the Earth likes to shake? If so, then you’ll benefit from checking out the CDC’s guide on earthquake preparedness!
    • Optimism is a virtue in most situations... but can it ever be a curse? Learn about how optimism might affect disaster preparedness in an article from PsychCentral.com.
    • Are you looking at some real-world motivation to take a CPR course? Look no further! Learn about a man who was saved by quick-acting, and first aid savvy co-workers from The Miami County Republic.
    • Finally, we take a closer look at optimism. Why do we feel “safer” than our neighbor, and is it possible this leads us to under prepare in some situations?

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