As summer is approaching, and we are all hoping for some good weather for our holidays and activities in the sun, let’s be keep safe as well as happy. With this in mind, we have put together 5 things to watch out for, and hopefully avoid, whilst enjoying yourselves.
Sunburn is skin damage caused by the ultraviolet rays in sunshine. The skin will be red, sore and hot to the touch. It may be also blistered. Applying a high factor sun cream before going outside, and re-applying regularly; wearing a hat and sunglasses; can all help prevent sunburn.
To treat mild sunburn:
- Get out of the sun as soon as you can. Cool the area with water. Put a t-shirt on and wet the affected area to keep it cool, or lay a wet flannel over the area.
- Apply after sun cream, or lotions containing aloe vera will help.
- Get them to drink plenty of water to help prevent dehydration.
- If the skin is badly damaged or blistered, seek medical advice.
Over exposure to heat, or exercising in hot weather i.e. running can lead to heat stroke and heat exhaustion. children, elderly and people with long term medical conditions can be at more risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
- Heat exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can appear as headache and excess sweating, temperature between 38-39C, dizziness, nausea and extreme thirst.
To treat heat exhaustion:
- Get them to into the shade/cool.
- Give water to drink.
- Remove excess clothing to help them to cool down.
- Heat stroke
When the temperature is >40C. The skin will be hot and dry, no sweating, cramps, vomiting and they may be confused, have shortness of breath or have a seizure.
To treat heat stroke:
- Remove from the source of heat.
- Cool with water i.e. place a wet towel over them or sponge them with water.
- Lay them down, elevate their legs.
- Do not give anything to drink.
- Call 999 and get medical help.
- Insect bites
With the sunshine and good weather come the wasps and bees, hoping for a bit of your ice cream. When they sting they cause a painful red swollen lump. The time this last varies per person but be wary in case there is an allergic reaction.
To treat insect bites:
- Remove the stinger – brush down it with credit card or similar – do not squeeze or use tweezers as this may push more venom in to the wound.
- Apply a cold compress for 10 minutes to help with the swelling.
- Raise the affected area to help reduce swelling.
- If the sting is in the mouth, give an ice cube to suck.
- Look for signs of an allergic reaction i.e. Anaphylactic shock.
- Anaphylactic shock
This is a severe allergic reaction which can be life threatening. Common allergies are bees and wasp stings but also latex, seafood and nuts to name a few. Signs and symptoms include swelling of the face, lips and neck, red skin or rash, difficulty breathing, itchy skin.
To treat anaphylactic shock:
- Dial 999 immediately, tell them “anaphylaxis”.
- Get the auto-injector medication prescribed to the casualty.
- Follow instructions on the auto-injector.
- Monitor the patients breathing and level of response, begin CPR if necessary.
If you’ve got to the bottom of this and are still looking forward to your summer adventures, we hope you have fun!
If you want to be more prepared, consider taking a first aid course. We have lots of different courses available, if you’re not sure contact us and we can advise on the best one for you.