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Easter first aid

Image of daffodils and Easter eggs

With Easter in full swing and the temperatures on the rise, families will be planning those holiday adventures. Whether you’re heading to an Easter egg hunt where cuts and grazes are not uncommon, or planning a trip to the park that may come with its share of allergies, it’s important to know how to give first aid for common injuries.

Cuts and grazes

Casual playtimes in the park can lead to common cuts and grazes. A cut is when the skin is fully broken, and a graze is when only the top layers of skin are scraped off. Cuts and grazes can usually be treated at home.

How to treat cuts and grazes:

  1. 1. Clean it under running cold water or with alcohol-free wipes.
  2. 2. Pat it dry, cover with a sterile gauze or a clean, non-fluffy cloth.
  3. 3. Raise and support the injury. Apply pressure to stop bleeding.
  4. 4. Remove the cloth or gauze and apply a sterile dressing or large plaster.
  5. 5. If there’s high risk of an infection or something in it, tell them to see a healthcare professional.

Strains and sprains

Strains and sprains are common injuries that affect the soft tissues around joints. They happen when the tissues are stretched, twisted or torn by violent or sudden movements, for instance if someone changes direction suddenly, or falls and lands awkwardly.

A sprain is when a ligament has been twisted or torn, whilst a strain is when the muscle has been overstretched and has partially torn.

If you think someone may have strained or sprained a muscle, ligament or tendon, these are the three key things to look for:

  1. 1. Pain and tenderness
  2. 2. Difficulty moving
  3. 3. Swelling and bruising

What you need to do:

Remember the letters R.I.C.E., which can be used to remember the four steps to deal with strains and sprains:

  1. 1. Rest - help them to sit and support their injury in a comfortable raised position.
  2. 2. Ice - apply something cold. Don’t leave it on for more than ten minutes.
  3. 3. Comfortable support - wrap a soft layer of padding around the area. Tie a support bandage around it which goes up as far as the next joint on each side.
  4. 4. Elevation – keep the injury raised on something soft.
  5. 5. If the pain is severe send them to hospital. Otherwise, tell them to rest the injury.

Severe allergic reaction

An allergy is the body’s unexpected reaction to something it has come into contact with. Something that triggers an allergic reaction is called an allergen. One of the most common allergens is plant pollen, which often causes hay fever. Other allergens include: animal hair, insect stings, specific drugs and foods ‒ especially penicillin, shellfish and nuts.

These are the six key things to look for:

  1. 1. In mild allergy there may be blotchy, itchy skin.
  2. 2. Itchy red eyes or nose.
  3. 3. In severe allergy there may be wheezing or difficulty breathing (they may complain that their chest ‘feels tight’)
  4. 4. There may be swelling of the hands, feet or face, but the tongue and throat may also swell.
  5. 5. Anxiety.
  6. 6. Signs of shock

What you need to do:

  1. 1. Dial 999. Tell them someone is having a severe allergic reaction and what might have caused it.
  2. 2. If they have an auto-injector of adrenaline, help them to use it.
  3. 3. Sit them comfortably, leaning forwards slightly. Get medical help.