Now that summer is officially with us, St. John Ambulance are sending out a timely reminder to keep first aid skills up-to-date. With people spending more time outdoors in summer there are a number of common ailments which affect people more regularly, including sunburn, bluebottle stings, bee stings, burns and heat exhaustion. St. John recommends wearing protective clothing, using at least 15+ sunscreen, and wearing sunglasses outdoors. It is also important to keep up your fluid intake and avoid extended periods in direct sunlight to avoid heat exhaustion.
Here are some tips to follow if anybody is severely affected by sunburn: rest them in a cool place, place under a cold shower, in a cold bath, or sponge with cold water, apply cool gauze padding to the burnt area, give them some cool drinks and seek medical advice for young babies.
For children, remember that they also need sunglasses, and they should choose sunnies with 100 per cent UV protection. Other ways to protect your children’s eyes are to limit screen times with tablets and smartphones, encourage them to eat colourful vegetables,
have regular checks with your optometrist after the age of three, and ensure that they play for at least 90 minutes outside each day.
The snake season is well underway and if someone is affect ed by a snake bite, follow these steps: use a roller bandage or pantyhose
and firmly bandage the entire limb, but not so firmly as to stop the flow of blood: start bandaging from just above the fingers or toes and work upwards, splint the bandaged limb, do not move them, and call 000 for an ambulance. Don’t do any of the following:
Don’t cut the bitten area, don’t suck the venom out or wash it off, don’t apply a tourniquet and don’t try and catch the snake.