How to Treat 6 Common Injuries
Everyone experiences bumps and scrapes from time to time. Most of them are easily treated at home, but it’s important to know the right way to do so. Mistreating them may only make things worse, so check out our tips for dealing with some of the most common injuries.
1) You received a bump to the head
If you receive a minor bump to the head, put some ice on the affected area and look out for signs of concussion, such as headache, blurry vision, memory issues, sleepiness, and sensitivity to light and noise. Seek medical help if you vomit, pass out or feel too dizzy to walk.
2) You tripped and rolled your ankle
When your ankle has been sprained, the best thing to do is wear a compression wrap for a few days and give it some rest. Walking around on it will only make the pain worse and could possibly cause further injury. For a few hours a day, elevate your ankle and occasionally rest some ice on it, which will help to reduce any swelling. If walking is excruciating, or your ankle becomes purple or puffy, you should see a doctor.
3) You burned yourself
Minor burns and scalds need to be cooled down, and this should be done with cool or tepid water – not ice cold water, ice or any creams. Make sure you remove any clothing or jewellery that is close to the burnt area so that nothing gets stuck to it. Cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it – not wrapping it around the area. Make sure you keep it clean and do not burst any blisters that form. More serious burns will require professional medical attention. You should go to a hospital A&E department for all chemical and electrical burns, large or deep burns (anything bigger than your hand), and burns that cause white or charred skin.
4) You sliced you hand open
Try not to panic if a slip of a kitchen knife leaves your hand bleeding – you can most often treat this simply at home. Grab a clean towel and press hard on the wound for 5-10 minutes with your hand elevated. When the bleeding stops, rinse the wound and apply a bandage. If the bleeding doesn’t stop or the wound is gaping, you’ll need to see a doctor. You’ll also need medical assistance if later there are signs of infection, such as swelling, pus, or redness spreading from the cut or graze.
5) You scraped your arm on rusty metal
Cuts caused by rusty metal should be cleaned with soap and water. If you can’t remember when you last had a tetanus shot, seek medical assistance straight away. It’s also important to see a doctor if the area around the cut grows warm or turns red.
6) You got stung by a bee or wasp
If a bee stings you, it will have left its stinger behind so scrape it away with a credit card. Clean the area with soap and water, and dull the pain with ice. Try not to scratch the affected area as this may cause infection. Seek emergency medical help if you vomit, feel dizzy, have trouble breathing, or your tongue or throat swells – these are signs of an allergic reaction. You should book an appointment with your GP if there’s a lot of swelling or pus, which indicates an infection.
For most of these injuries, ordinary painkillers such as paracetamol should be strong enough to help ease any pain you experience. Just make sure you know how to recognise the difference between a minor injury you can treat at home and one which needs to be treated by a medical professional.