Most Common First Aid Emergencies During the Holidays and How to Treat Them 

 November 18, 2016

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Photo: Stacy SpensleyHolidays are a time for food, family, and traveling. But accidents can still happen over the holidays, whether it’s a cut finger or something else entirely. Now, we’ve taken a closer look at the most common first aid emergencies that occur over the holidays and how to treat them.

How to Treat Burn Injuries

One of the most common accidents that occur over the holidays are burns—whether it’s from carrying a hot pot or leaning next to a stove. If you happen to suffer a burn, run cool tap water over the burn for 10 to 20 minutes. Don’t use ice for this process. Then, use a mild soap to cleanse the affected area. If there’s no opening of the skin, use an antibiotic ointment, and wrap the affected area loosely with sterile gauze.

If your burn has small blisters no bigger than your pinky fingernail, then don’t break them. If they do break, clean the area and apply an antibiotic ointment.

If you experience a major burn, then remove any jewelry or restrictive items. Cover the area with a cool, moist bandage or a clean cloth, and then go into a clinic for treatment.

How to Treat Slip and Fall Injuries

Whether you’re going to a grocery store or rushing around at a store, you’re more likely to slip and fall during the holidays. These injuries can include abrasions, scrapes and bruises or even sprained ankles, arms, or wrists.

When it comes to treating these areas, you’ll first want to assess what kind of injury it is. If the issue is a scrape or abrasion, clean the affected area, place antibiotic on the area, and then bandage the area. While cleaning, make sure to watch out for any dirt particles that may be in the wound.

If a person has experienced a sprain, the best treatment is to ice the injury and then elevate it to reduce swelling. Immobilizing the area is also key to recovery, so consider investing in a brace of some kind. If it’s a bad sprain, go to your local doctor to ask about what treatment is needed and if physical therapy may be needed afterward.

How to Treat Food Poisoning

During the holidays, you’re probably eating a lot more food than normal, or may be eating food that’s been improperly handled or improperly stored afterward. Unfortunately, this can result in food poisoning.

If you wind up with food poisoning, then first let your stomach settle by not eating or drinking for a few hours. Also try sucking on ice chips or taking small sips of water to stay hydrated. If you’re feeling up for it, try drinking clear broth, or non-caffeinated sports drinks, such as Gatorade.

Once you’re feeling a bit better, ease yourself back into eating. Choose bland, low-fat, easy-to-digest foods, such as soda crackers, toast, gelatin, bananas, or rice. Don’t eat if you start feeling sick again, and make sure to avoid foods such as dairy products, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and fatty or highly seasoned foods.

For more information about first aid treatments and for first aid supplies, check out our selection of first aid kits.

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