DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Kevin Hill
With the summer holidays in full swing many parents will be making the most of the sunshine before the return to nursery, play group or school again.
If your children are like most, they are probably chasing each other around the garden using more energy than you can muster.
But with all that energy and excitement flowing, there’s bound to be a fall, scrape or even a bump to the head, so it’s best to be prepared.
It’s not uncommon for children to have accidents while playing at home. In fact, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, this happens to more than two million children under the age of 15 each year. Of these, children under the age of five are the most likely to hurt themselves.
Most accidents are minor and can be treated at home with a First Aid kit and lots of hugs. But when was the last time you checked your First Aid kit?
A typical First Aid kit should include antiseptic to clean cuts before they are dressed. Most can treat a range of conditions, including insect stings, ulcers and pimples.
Plasters will help to keep the area dry and protected but make sure you have sterile dressing for larger injuries too.
This will help to prevent infection until treatment can be given by a health professional, in the rare instances that is needed.
Keep a good stock of elasticated bandages to help support a sprained wrist or ankle, and apply direct pressure to larger cuts.
Cooling gel packs or flannels dipped in cold water are good to use as a compress, as well as an eye-wash solution that can help to wash out grit or dirt from the eyes.
Finally, it’s important to make sure you have a high factor sunscreen in your kit (SPF 50 provides the best protection) to protect your child’s skin from the sun, especially if you are outside for long periods of time.
Seek medical help if your child has had a knock or bump to the head that has caused mild dizziness and a headache to get worse.
NHS111 can offer advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week and advise you of the best place to go if you’re unsure. All the caller has to do is dial 111 to talk to the NHS. For more information about what to do if your child has an accident, visit www.nhs.uk