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Summer First Aid

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Summer time might bring to mind visions of swimming, being outside, water balloon fights, and more. While it is true that summer is a fun time for most, the need for certain first aid measures rises. Increased numbers of biting creepy crawlies, incredulous heat waves, and more may leave you not wanting to step outside. By following a few basic first aid rules, you can either avoid issues or be on the mend and out enjoying the weather again in no time.

Bees can seem to come up out of nowhere! The first thing to do immediately after being stung is to gently push out the stinger using a blunt-edged object. If you’re in a pinch with no tools handy, you can remove the stinger with your fingernail, but be careful not to squeeze venom back into the skin. Clean with soap and water as soon as you can, then dab on hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to help alleviate the pain. If you have a cold compress available, you can place it on the sting area to provide even more relief. Also, be sure not to scratch the area. This will cause the venom to spread and increase the chance of infection.

Poison Ivy is a quick way to ruin summer plans! It spreads incredibly easy and can be passed along to the whole family via simple contact. To prevent a breakout, wash exposed areas with soap and water within five to 10 minutes of contact. If you aren’t able to do that in time, take a cool to lukewarm bath laced with baking soda or oatmeal. This will help rinse and neutralize the rash spreading oil. Afterward, apply calamine lotion to help with the itching. Be sure to wash all clothes that came in contact including shoes. Also, it is important to wash your pet's fur! The plant’s oil is potent and can adhere to fabrics and other surfaces for up to a month. If the skin starts swelling or oozing, call your doctor immediately.

Ticks are incredibly dangerous since they can carry Lyme disease. If you will be adventuring into the woods or in tall grass or brush, dress in long-sleeved shirts and tuck pants into socks. Apply insect repellent that says it helps repel ticks. After you return home, check for ticks all over your entire body including your hair and scalp. It takes 24 hours for infection to occur, so being proactive significantly reduces the risk. To remove ticks, lightly grip it with tweezers near its head or mouth, close to the skin, then pull it off gently without crushing it. Be sure NOT to twist the body. Then, clean the area and apply an antiseptic. If within three to 30 days the bite mark expands or turns into a bull's-eye-shaped and you experience light sensitivity to the eyes or skin, trouble breathing, chest pain, or heart palpitations – see medical attention immediately as this could be a sign of Lyme disease.

Heat issues are yet another important thing to be aware of in the summer. Dehydration can happen quickly and before one realizes it. The elderly and children are especially prone. Heat cramps, which are caused by loss of salt from heavy sweating, usually happen first. They then lead into heat exhaustion which can progress to heatstroke. Heatstroke, which is the most serious of the three, can cause brain damage, shock, failure of vital organs, and even death. Be sure to keep an eye on everyone playing in the sun and provide plenty of water. Make sure that there is plenty of shade available and everyone is taking breaks to cool off. If you believe someone is suffering from any of these heat based illnesses, be sure to call 911 and follow a few tips while waiting.

· Have the person lie down in a cool place and raise their feet about 12 inches

· Apply cool water, bags of ice, or cool cloths to the individual’s skin. If a fan is available, turn that on and point it directly on the person.

· If alert, give the person beverages to sip. Water or a hydrating drink like Gatorade work best

Enjoy your summer but make sure you take all precautions you can for these common issues. Never leave home without plenty of water and a first aid kit containing medicine and bandages. If going to an area with no cellular service, make sure you know where the closest land line location is. By preparing ahead of time, you can ensure that you have a fun and safety filled season. We here at FreeRxPlus hope your summer is off to a great start! Don’t forget to visit freerxplus.com today to get your free discount prescription card.

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