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During the moments between when an injury occurs and receiving proper urgent care treatment, you can often minimize the severity with some quick first aid tips, as described below.
Note: You should always use your best judgment and seek medical attention for all of these types of injuries when needed.
Apply pressure with a clean, dry cloth to help control bleeding.
Don’t remove pressure. If bleeding doesn’t stop, add more clean, dry cloths.
Control bleeding with a sterile bandage or clean cloth until stopped.
Immobilize the injured area using a splint, if available.
Apply ice packs to limit swelling and help relieve pain.
If the person appears to be in shock, have the person lie flat and elevate legs.
Cut or scrape
Apply pressure with a clean cloth or bandage to help control bleeding.
Don’t remove pressure. If bleeding doesn’t stop, add more clean cloths or bandages.
Child with fever
Don’t treat a child’s fever with aspirin.
Use Tylenol® or Motrin® as prescribed based on the child’s weight.
Apply a cold compress to the child’s forehead and dress the child in light, loose-fitting clothes.
Sip small amounts of water.
Drink carbohydrate/electrolyte-containing drinks. Good choices are sports drinks such as Gatorade® or prepared replacement solutions such as Pedialyte®.
Suck on plain ice chips, or popsicles made from juices and/or sports drinks.
Sip through a straw (works well for someone who is recovering from jaw surgery or mouth sores).
Embedded object or foreign body
Don’t try to remove the foreign object.
Carefully wrap gauze or clean clothing around the area to prevent the object from moving.
Apply pressure around the area with a sterile bandage or clean cloth to limit and control bleeding.
Don’t remove pressure. If bleeding continues, add more clean cloths or bandages.
Individual should rest in a cool, shaded area.
Give cool fluids such as sports drinks that will replace lost salt. Salty snacks are appropriate, as tolerated.
Loosen or remove clothing.
Don’t use an alcohol rub.
Don’t give any beverages containing alcohol or caffeine.
Alert: Unlike heat exhaustion, heat stroke is a medical emergency. You should call an ambulance immediately. Do not attempt to treat a case of heat stroke on your own. You can help while waiting for medical assistance to arrive by doing the following:
Move the person to a cooler environment, or place in a cool bath of water as long as the individual is conscious and can be attended continuously.
Alternatively, moisten the skin with lukewarm water and use a fan to blow cool air across the skin.
Give cool beverages by mouth if the individual can tolerate them.
Handle the tooth by the top only, avoiding touching the root, and rinse it in a bowl of tap water.
Try to replace the tooth in the socket and bite gently on gauze or a moistened tea bag to keep it in place.
If it doesn’t stay, place it in a bowl of either whole milk, the person’s own saliva, or a warm, mild saltwater solution.
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