It’s never too late to learn and be inspired, and Australian seniors are testament to this.
Mary Dawes, Director of First Aid For You says, “Many “old wives tales” are often passed down and unfortunately many of these are not only incorrect, they can make a serious situation even worse. Basic first aid knowledge has the potential to turn the situation around.”
At the top of the “myths list” is putting garlic on bee-stings. It’s vital that you check first if the person who has any allergies, before doing anything. Now days many younger members of our community have allergies and treatment methods have changed over the years.
Putting anything on top of where the sting is, can push the stinger further into the skin and cause more pain. Try and scrape the stinger out – but don’t pull it out, as you risk only removing the top. “Best advice here is seek medical assistance urgently if showing signs of an allergic reaction, if not, place a cold pack on the area to relieve any swelling and discomfort,” says Mary.
Number two on the list is the idea that urinating on a jellyfish or bluebottle sting will alleviate the pain. “Again, it’s so important to check if the person who has been stung, has any allergies. Aside from the embarrassment factor, urinating on someone is just unhealthy. What you should try to do is put an amount of vinegar on the sting (for a box jellyfish); usually the Surf Life Saving Officers have some on hand, or wash under warm water for a bluebottle sting,” adds Mary.
A common myth is that breathing into a paper bag will prevent hyperventilating. We’ve all seen movies where someone who is nervous, breathe into a brown paper bag. This is the worse thing you can do according to Mary, “It actually increases carbon dioxide which isn’t good in this situation. If possible, make your way outdoors and try and control your breathing by breathing in and out slowly and counting to ten.”
During stressful situations, some people suffer from a nose bleed, the right procedure here, might surprise you says Mary, “It doesn’t matter if the nose-bleed as come on as a result of stress, or the consequence of an accident, you want to put your head forward immediately. Do not put your head backwards, as this will cause you to swallow blood. Allow the blood to flow out and squeeze ‘soft part of the nose’ not the bridge of your nose, attempting to stop the flow of blood. Placing a cold pack on your forehead or back of neck can also assist.”
Finally, when it comes to burns, there’s only one immediate action to do – place the burn under cold gentle running water. “I’ve heard so many people saying, what about butter? This does nothing for the healing process and can lead to contamination and infection. Place the burn under cold running water for 20 minutes, at no time are you to place ice on a burn either, as this may create a cold burn, on top of the existing burn.”
These tips and advice are no substitute for first aid knowledge, Mary urges.
“A first aid course – especially one where in a relaxed environment your trainer can equip you with the skills needed in such an emergency and you’ll be grateful you spent the time updating these vital skills,” finishes Mary.
Originally published here