First Aid Musts for Summer Stings

VIDEO: What you need to know to help others in an emergency.

Everyone in the house should learn some basic first aid skills in the case of a minor medical emergency. Save yourself a trip to the doctor by keeping these handy notes around.

First Aid Musts for Summer Stings


The skin is slit and blood begins to seep out. How much blood comes out depends on the size and the area of the cut.

Key Step: Apply Pressure

Apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage to stop the bleeding. Rinse the wound with water. If any particles remain after washing, use tweezers, cleaned with alcohol, to remove them. Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment, and cover the wound with a dressing that's big enough for the affected area.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

A wound that is more than 6 millimeters deep, is gaping or has fat or muscle protruding usually requires stitches, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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First Aid Musts for Summer Stings

Burns and Scalds

Determine the degree and the extent of damage to body tissues. A minor burn is simply reddened skin with no blistering.

Key Step: Run Cold Water

Icing cuts circulation, and you need healthy blood cells for healing, says Dr Martin Ehrlich of Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. Instead, expel excess heat by running cool water over the burn area for several minutes, then cut an onion in half and let it rest on the wound. Onions contain a mild analgesic, says Dr Ehrlich.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Burns or scalds that occur on the feet, hands, genitalia, face or cover a large area may require emergency medical attention.

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First Aid Musts for Summer Stings

Insect Stings

Immediate pain, redness, swelling and itching at the sting site may occur.

Key Step: Apply Baking Soda

"Stings are acidic, so applying a teaspoon of alkaline baking soda paste neutralises them," says Joe Mulligan, First Aid trainer at the British Red Cross. "Alternatively, wet the affected area and rub it with uncoated aspirin, which will help to control the pain and inflammation."

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Serious medical problems and deaths can result from an allergic reaction to the sting. If you experience difficulty breathing, seek medical attention at once.

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First Aid Musts for Summer Stings

Ankle Sprains

Your ankle begins to bruise and feel tender after executing a sharp and unnatural twisting motion.

Key Step: Protect the Foot

Put on snug, hightopped trainers – so those Nike Air Jordans were worth keeping – to work as a makeshift brace before you get professional help for an ankle sprain, says Mulligan. "Gently pull on a couple of pairs of football or ski socks, too – together, they should provide similar support to an air cast," he says.

When to Go to the Emergency Room

Severe ankle sprains can have long-term after-effects, such as chronic ankle instability and osteoarthritis. Hobble your way to a hospital fast

For more ways to keep your body healthy and strong, discover The Secret to Staying Pain-free For Life.


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