Cuts and grazes are part of growing up. Small wounds are usually easily treated at home with a little first aid and lots of TLC. The aim of first aid is to promote healing and to minimise the risk of infection. Large or severely bleeding wounds need immediate medical attention as blood loss can lead to falling blood pressure and shock. Home treatment
* Wash your hands before handling a wound or wear sterile disposable gloves. * Most minor wounds stop bleeding on their own, or after applying some direct pressure for a few minutes with a gauze pad. Don’t lift the pad continuously to check whether bleeding has stopped – this will damage blood clots that may be forming. * Hold the wound under cool running water to remove dirt or bits of grass and to assess how deep it is. Remove dirt particles with the corner of a sterile gauze pad or sterile tweezers. You can sterilize the end of tweezers over an open flame. Let it cool before using it. * Use gauze to clean the skin around the wound. Wipe away from the wound and use a new pad with each wipe. Pat the area dry and apply antiseptic ointment, such as Polysporin or BC56, to the wound. Applying alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, mercurochrome or iodine onto a wound can delay healing and should be avoided. * Consider putting a bandage, such as an adhesive strip, on the cut or graze, especially on the hands, legs and feet. Always put an adhesive strip across a cut, and not lengthwise. Do not cover with cotton wool. Alternatively, close the wound with sterile wound closure strips if stitches are not required (see box). An antiseptic spray may be used for grazes. * Change the bandage at least once a day or more often if it gets dirty or wet. When the wound forms a scab, a bandage is no longer necessary. Witch hazel or aloe vera cream may soothe a simple wound.
First aid for nosebleeds
Nosebleeds are common, especially in winter. They can usually be treated successfully at home. Common causes include nose-picking ad forceful nose-blowing, a dry climate, colds and allergies, injuries to the nose, and high altitude. To stop a nosebleed: Sit and lean forwards to prevent blood from running down your throat. Firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just below the bridge, for five minutes while breathing through the mouth. If bleeding does not stop, hold the position for a further 10 minutes. Try not to blow or pick your nose for 24 hours afterwards. If you feel the need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open. Sleep with your head elevated and avoid exercise for a day after the nosebleed. See a doctor if bleeding cannot be controlled or is the result of a head injury, if you feel faint or weak, if nosebleeds happen frequently (especially in children), if you are taking blood-thinning medication or if you bruise easily. To prevent nosebleeds, humidify the room. Rub Vaseline inside your nostrils a few times a day. Saline nose drops are also useful. Unconsciousness
Unconsciousness is potentially life-threatening. An unconscious person is in danger of choking from vomit, saliva or blood because the normal reflexes such as coughing are not effective. If the person is lying face upwards, there is a danger that the tongue or throat soft tissue may obstruct the airway. States of unconsciousness range from a brief period of fainting to a deep and prolonged coma. It has many possible causes, such as poisoning, epilepsy, suffocation, bleeding, head injury, stroke, heart attack, diabetes and alcohol and drug overdose. Signs
An unconscious person:
* Is unaware of his surroundings and does not respond to sound * Makes no purposeful movements
* Does not respond to questions or to touch
* May or may not be breathing or have a pulse
Get help immediately if:
* A person is unconscious for more than a few seconds.
* The person is not breathing or has no pulse.
Call a doctor even if the person has regained...