New features, new look and now mobile-responsive! No need to re-register.
Logo

Get Healthy!

67 Results for search "Emergencies / First Aid".

Wellness Library Results

What should I do if my child breaks a bone or dislocates a joint? A broken bone or dislocated joint is a serious injury that requires a doctor's immediate attention. The best thing you can do is protect the injured area, making sure your child doesn't worsen the damage. Fractures are breaks, cracks, or chips in a bone. A fractured bone that pierces through the skin is called an open fracture. ...

The sight of blood in your urine -- the toilet water turned a shade of red -- is understandably an alarming one. The good news is that it's usually not serious. In fact, even something as innocent as exercise can cause it. But there's a possibility it may also be a symptom of a more serious problem such as cancer, so you should always see a doctor about it. What is blood in the urine? Red blood c...

It's an injury that can come from anywhere: a baseball in the eye, an elbow from another athlete, or a sucker punch to the face. Any sport in which players collide or hit each other with sticks can cause a black eye -- and much worse damage if blood collects behind it and results in vision loss. If the injury is serious enough, blood can accumulate in the eye's anterior chamber -- the fluid-fille...

As anyone who has ever worn ill-fitting shoes knows, blisters are small but painful irritations that occur when the skin is repeatedly rubbed in the same place. Blisters can also result from using a tool that rubs against your hands and fingers, or from getting a serious burn or scrape. Blisters may look distressing, but they are actually part of the body's normal healing process. Small blisters ...

Many kinds of accidents can cause blows to the abdomen. Common causes are automobile and bicycle accidents, skiing or tobogganing accidents, and other sports-related injuries. Most blows to the abdomen aren't serious. But a severe blow can cause internal bleeding and shock, which can be life-threatening. When the injury is serious What to look out for Danger signs after someone has received a se...

Any bone in the body can break under enough stress. You should be alert for the possibility of broken bones anytime someone suffers a serious blow, perhaps in a fall, a car accident, or a high-speed wipeout on a bicycle. For people whose bones are weakened by osteoporosis, it can take only a slight tumble to cause a fracture. In fact, more than 1.5 million osteoporosis-related fractures are estima...

From childhood falls or biking accidents, most of us are familiar with bruises. Bruises occur when small blood vessels under the skin rupture and blood seeps into the surrounding tissue, which causes the familiar black and blue color of a bruise. Bruises, which are also called contusions, can be the result of falling, bumping into something, or being struck by a blunt object. A blow to the area ar...

The first step in treating a burn properly is to assess the severity and extent of the injury. Burns are divided into four categories: first, second, third, and fourth degree. If you have to treat a burn, you need to know how to determine whether it is mild, moderate, or severe. If it is severe, you also need to know what to do while waiting for emergency medical assistance. Mild or moderate burn...

Often called "the silent killer," carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can be fatal when inhaled. Smoke from fires, backdrafts from blocked chimney flues, grills that use charcoal or chemical fuels, emissions from faulty gas heaters, and the exhaust of motor vehicles, boats, and appliances are all common sources of carbon monoxide. Accidental deaths from carbon monoxide te...

Many people feel lightheaded every once in a while, so lightheaded that they may faint -- that is, pass out momentarily. Fainting is not the same as being asleep or unconscious. When a person faints, it's usually temporary and the person can be revived in a few minutes. Someone who is unconsciousness, however, won't respond to attempts to revive him. An unconscious person can't cough or clear his ...

This document will help you in an emergency. Print out two copies and fill in the blanks. Keep one copy with you, and give one to your spouse or traveling companion. Also, be sure to pack your child's prescription medicines (and bring them along if you have to take your child to a doctor or an emergency room) and a first-aid kit so you can cope with minor medical problems. My child's personal inf...

What should I do if my child is bitten by an animal? Treatment depends on how bad the wound is. If it's clearly minor -- nothing more than a superficial scratch -- carefully wash the area with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day. Cover the wound with an adhesive bandage if it's in an area that's likely to get dirty; otherwise, leave it exposed to the air. If the injury is pos...

From the coffeemaker to the fax machine, devices that run on electricity are all around us. Most of the time, we don't worry about the live current that makes them work. But every year, 1,000 people die because of electrical accidents. Anything from touching a downed power line to plugging in a faulty string of Christmas lights can cause serious burns on the skin and damage muscles, nerves, and in...

Medical emergencies can be frightening, especially if you are unprepared. Being familiar with first aid instructions can help you prevent or minimize serious injury. It can even save lives. Knowing what to do will give you the confidence to act calmly and quickly. How can you be better prepared for emergencies? Keep a list of emergency numbers by the telephone. If you have a cell phone, program...

As just about anyone who has chopped vegetables knows, minor cuts are a part of everyday life. Knowing how to care for them quickly can help prevent infection and lessen the chances of scarring. Before treating any cuts, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to avoid contamination. Never cough, blow, or breathe on the wound. It's also important to know when a cut is serious en...

What should I do if my child begins to choke? If your child is breathing, encourage him to cough; it helps clear the windpipe. Minor choking usually occurs because a liquid has gotten into the air passage, and coughing can clear it out. Don't offer your child something to drink, though, since fluids may further block the passage of air. If your child is choking on an object and can't breathe, cal...

Choking is a serious threat to people of all ages. Whenever something gets stuck in the throat -- a piece of food, a child's toy, or blood from an injury -- it can block a person's air supply. After four to six minutes without air, the brain begins to die. If someone is choking, quick action can save a life. How can you tell if someone is choking? A choking victim will often put both hands on his...

CPR

CPR -- cardiopulmonary resuscitation -- is a potentially life-saving procedure that can restart a person's heartbeat and breathing. CPR is often used to revive victims of electric shock, near-drowning, and heart attack. According to the National Institutes of Health, quick CPR can triple a victim's chances for survival. The best way to learn the technique is to take a certified training class. (Se...

Many people associate chemical burns with factories, but they can happen at home, too: Contact with strong chemicals found around the house, the garage, or at work can burn your skin or eyes. Examples of dangerous substances are battery acid, bleach, paint strippers, drain cleaners, and even everyday household cleaning supplies like ammonia. Just being exposed to the fumes of some chemicals can ca...

What should I do if another child bites my child? The first step is to wash the wound carefully with soap and water, since human bites are even more likely to become infected than animal bites. If the skin is broken, call your doctor to see if she wants you to bring your child in for an evaluation. If the wound is minor, apply an antibiotic ointment twice a day. If the injury's in an area that ten...

What should I do if my child is bitten by a spider or scorpion? Most spider bites are harmless, causing redness and swelling at the site but no serious risk, so you can probably relax. The only spiders that pose a real danger are black widow and brown recluse spiders. Scorpions are also potentially dangerous. The symptoms of a scorpion sting are similar to those of black widow bites: local pain an...

What should I do if my child is bitten by a tick? First, remove the tick. Forget any advice you've heard about applying petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, or a hot match to the end of the tick. Those home remedies almost never work. Instead of forcing the tick to withdraw, they're likely to kill the tick while it's embedded in the skin, which increases the risk of infection. Although it's not foo...

Shock can occur after any kind of trauma: a severe allergic reaction, poisoning, heat stroke, burns, or any other severe stress on the body. But the phenomenon can also ensue from severe dehydration, excessive vomiting, or extreme diarrhea. Some types of infections and certain heart or kidney problems that reduce blood flow can cause shock as well. What happens when the body goes into shock is tha...

What should I do if my child is bleeding badly? You'll need to act quickly. If your child has lost consciousness or appears to be in shock, have someone call 911 immediately while you begin first aid. Lay your child down with his feet elevated about 12 inches. This increases blood flow to the brain and reduces the risk of shock. If possible, elevate the site of bleeding, as well; that helps reduce...

What should I do if my child breaks a bone or dislocates a joint? A broken bone or dislocated joint is a serious injury that requires a doctor's immediate attention. The best thing you can do is protect the injured area, making sure your child doesn't worsen the damage. Fractures are breaks, cracks, or chips in a bone. A fractured bone that pierces through the skin is called an open fracture. Bec...

Puncture wounds are caused when sharp and pointed objects such as nails, tacks, knife tips, needles, or bullets penetrate the skin. Animal bites are another cause of puncture wounds. Puncture wounds usually don't bleed very much (unless a major blood vessel is broken). For that reason, they may not look serious. They also may appear to heal very quickly. But because puncture wounds penetrate deep...

Getting a splinter is a common occurrence, but removing one is easy. It's important to do so right away, however, since splinters left in the skin can become infected. Be careful not to let a wooden splinter get wet for very long because the moisture will make it swell. Start by washing your hands with soap and water, then washing the affected area. If one end of the splinter is sticking out of t...

Being prepared ahead of time for a poisoning emergency can save valuable minutes when a person's health -- or life -- is at stake. Look up the phone number of your local poison control center and place it alongside other important numbers everywhere you keep such a list: home, work, wallet, and/or cell phone. The people at 911 can send over an ambulance, but the poison control people are usually t...

What's the best way to treat a bruise? If your child's bruise is relatively minor, you can treat it at home. Apply ice packs for 15-minute periods at least several times a day during the first 48 hours to reduce swelling. A zip-lock bag filled with ice cubes and water or a partially thawed package of frozen peas may be useful if an ice pack isn't handy. Elevating the bruised area also lessens swel...

What should I do if my child is burned? First, get your child away from the source of the burn and remove any clothing or jewelry from the burned area. Don't take off any clothing that has stuck to burned skin, however, or you could cause further injury. Next, quickly cool the burned area, since skin continues to burn because of the stored heat. The best method for cooling a burn depends on the se...

Germs have gotten a bad rap. Some of them are actually good for us, like the ones in our intestines that help us break down food. But we're also surrounded by potentially harmful germs. They lurk everywhere, from the surface of public phones to bottles of unrefrigerated garlic paste. Disease-causing germs, in fact, are always looking for their chance to invade a new host. All it takes is a cut or ...

What's the best way to treat a cut or scrape? If the cut or scrape is deep and bleeding, apply pressure with a clean cloth, paper towel, or bandage to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding doesn't stop in 10 minutes, call your child's physician immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. If the cut appears to need stitches, call your pediatrician. It's also wise to call your child's doctor abou...

Insect bites and stings are a fact of life if you spend time outdoors. Fortunately, although they may be painful, they usually aren't serious. Unfortunately, some bites and stings are poisonous or can cause serious allergic reactions or infections. Most sting reactions are caused by five types of insect: yellow jackets, honey bees, wasps, hornets, and fire ants. Here's what you should know about t...

Muscle cramps are a common ailment, especially in the legs and feet. Since muscle cramps are sometimes caused by dehydration (loss of water) and low levels of potassium, they frequently strike in hot weather, when your body loses water, salt, and minerals through sweating. Drinking plenty of water and eating foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, may help to ward off cramps. You can also get a...

What should I do if my child bumps or chips a tooth? If the tooth was merely jarred or loosened slightly, you probably won't need to do anything, though it's a good idea to call your child's dentist to get her opinion. If you see some bleeding from the gums, pat the area with a cold damp washcloth or gauze. The injury will heal in a few days. If the tooth was pushed in or out of its usual positi...

There are two basic ways to have a tooth removed: You can go to the dentist for a careful extraction, or you can take a serious blow to the face. Unfortunately, many people end up going with option number two. They catch a stray elbow during a basketball game, fall face-first on the sidewalk, or -- in rare cases -- get in a fistfight. What should I do if I lose a permanent tooth? A knocked-out (...

As those of us who wear jewelry know, it's not unusual for a ring to get temporarily stuck on a finger. Fingers naturally swell, especially when it's hot and humid outside, or if you walk with your hands swinging at your sides. Usually, if you simply cool off and elevate the affected hand above your heart for a while, the swelling will go down and the ring will come off easily. Applying ice to you...

At home, you probably have your doctors' numbers posted near the phone and your child's medical records handy in case of an emergency. On vacation, you should be no less prepared. Here are some tips: Before You Go

There's more to first aid than covering up wounds or stopping bleeding. When treating an injury, relieving pain should also be a top priority. Prompt treatment for pain will make an injured person feel more calm and comfortable. Pain relief may also make it possible for the person to move safely on her own -- a handy thing if the nearest phone is miles away. Pain can also be a guide to treatment. ...

Use this checklist to make sure you have adequate supplies for dealing with minor medical problems while traveling with children. You can pack the items in a small tote, a lunch box, or a zip-top bag -- whichever is easiest to stow. It's also a good idea to check with your doctor to make sure you're up-to-date on all of your vaccinations. Your doctor can also tell you if you should take along an...

If you enjoy going fishing, it's important to be prepared in case you accidentally get a fishhook caught in your skin. Caution There are two circumstances when you should not try to remove a fishhook on your own: When a fishhook is caught in the eye or face. When the hook is so deeply embedded in the skin that removing it would cause more serious injury. In these cases, cut the fishing line as...

The bones of the skull are designed to withstand some hard knocks. Most of the time, a blow to the head causes nothing more serious than a swollen bump, or "goose egg." But some injuries to the head can be serious, even life-threatening. The brain is a delicate organ, and head injuries are dangerous when they cause bleeding and/or swelling inside the skull. When someone receives a hard blow to the...

The body carefully maintains its internal temperature at around 98.6 degrees. In hot weather, perspiration cools it off. But sometimes, even the best cooling system can be overwhelmed. Always be alert to the symptoms of heat stroke or exhaustion, especially when you or your friends exercise in hot weather, or work in hot, humid areas that don't have some form of ventilation. Heat exhaustion is a...

What are hives? Hives are red, itchy welts or swellings on the skin that often come in clusters. They sometimes have a light red or pale center surrounded by a darker red area around the borders -- a marking resembling tiny bull's eyes -- but may simply look like large red circles. In doctor speak, hives are known as "urticaria." Hives can appear anywhere on the body, cropping up either in one sm...

What is hyperventilation? Hyperventilation occurs when people breathe too rapidly. Most people take at least a couple of seconds to breathe in and out. If a person sounds as though he's run a mile and is breathing heavily, that's a sign of hyperventilation. What causes hyperventilation? Rapid or labored breathing can result from extreme anxiety or panic. It is also associated with fever, head inj...

Our bodies carefully regulate our internal temperature to a precise degree. In hot weather, we sweat to cool off. In cold weather, we generate additional heat by shivering. However, prolonged exposure to cold can cause the body's control mechanisms to fail. When internal body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the result is hypothermia. Hypothermia can lead to loss of consciousness, ca...

When you are injured or experience soreness or chronic pain, you may receive conflicting advice about what to do. Apply heat? Apply cold? Here's an overview of how to use temperature in the healing process. What is a cold pack? Popular and effective in treatments to ease pain and swelling from minor injuries, cold packs come in many different varieties. Some are sacks of gel that turn into ice pac...

Ever exercised in the mountains? You probably noticed that oxygen can be a little thin up there. At 10,000 feet, for example, the air has only about 70 percent as much oxygen as it does at sea level. Whether you're hiking, lugging a pair of skis straight up a mountain, or simply standing around and taking in the sights, you'll have to breathe a little harder to get the oxygen that your body needs....

Most dental problems respond well to a take-it-slow approach. Brushing, flossing, and dental appointments every six months will take you far. But every once in awhile, the mouth can become an emergency. Without immediate treatment, a problem with your teeth or gums could quickly become a major threat to your overall health. How do you know if you're facing a dental emergency? Here are some common...

Considering all of the chewing we do on a daily basis -- including the occasional ice chip or peach pit -- it's remarkable that our teeth last as long as they do. And considering how easy it is to accidentally bite yourself, we should all be grateful if our lips, tongue and cheek aren't constantly sore. The mouth can be an especially sturdy and resilient part of the body. But when injuries do hap...