Family first aid
According to Kidsafe, falls, poisoning, scalds, choking and dog bites are the most common causes of hospitalisation for young children and the most common place to be injured is at home.
The Wound Foundation of Australia, a non-profit organisation based at Monash University in Melbourne, dedicated to improving the treatment of wounds in Australia, recommends that families should build their own first aid kits, specifically suited to their family’s needs.
It recommends these essential items for every home:
- Saline solution blister packs
- Cotton swabs
- Waterproof film dressing
- First aid tape
- Surgical gloves
- Ice pack
- Triangular bandage or sling
- Elastic bandage.
Cuts and abrasions
- Ideally should be treated within two hours.
- Apply pressure with gauze or a clean tissue to stop any bleeding.
- Wash area gently with a mild antiseptic solution.
- Cover the wound with a first aid strip.
- Change dressing daily so as to keep affected area clean.
Modern first aid practice recommends moist wound healing. Keeping a wound covered promotes healing without the formation of a scab, as scabs may become a physical barrier to healing and may cause scarring.
They’re an annoying part of summer life for active kids who love playing outside, but they can cause infection if they’re not removed. Although most splinters can be removed, some are serious and should be removed by a medical professional to avoid causing further damage.
Splinters that need professional attention include those that are:
- embedded deeply in the skin
- close to, or in the eye
- embedded over a joint
- have jagged edges or barbs, like fishhooks or metal.
Otherwise, it should be safe to try to remove it using the following method
- Wash the skin around the splinter with warm, soapy water.
- Using sterile tweezers, grip the splinter as close to the skin surface as you can.
- Pull the splinter out directly. Don’t pull too hard or fast or the splinter may break.
If there is pain or swelling afterwards, see a doctor. A tetanus injection or antibiotics may be needed if the wound is infected.
Source: My Doctor
The information provided in this article is intended as a guide only. Always consult your doctor if you or your child is suffering any medical complaint. Any websites referred to by Australian Family contain information moderated by government and medical institutions or organisations.
This article was first published in Australian Family Magazine. Updated July 2009.