Summertime is not only fun, but a season of common scrapes, bruises and other injuries that come with being highly active outdoors. Here are a few tips on how to prepare.
Start with a first-aid kit
There are plenty of ready-made first-aid kits in stores, but if you want to make your own, HealthyChildren.org suggests including items like bandages, tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze and itch-relieving spray or cream. If a member of your family has special needs, you'll also want to add things like EpiPens, Benadryl, feminine hygiene products, Dramamine, asthma inhalers and whatever other prescription medicines you consider essential for getting through a medical emergency.
Head off bigger problems with preventive care
Sunblock, insect repellant, flashlights, water and clean towels will come in handy, too, regardless of where you are. Dressing properly for the occasion is also a smart idea.
Decide on the right treatment
Sometimes you can handle ordinary scrapes and abrasions with simple first-aid remedies if bleeding is minor and stops after a short time. Other times, you'll want to seek immediate treatment from a health care professional. ProMedica advises that punctures and open, gaping wounds that continue bleeding are a special cause for concern because bacteria can get into the wound, resulting in a high risk of infection, or in some serious cases, tetanus. If you can't bring the bleeding under control, or if there are broken bones or major patches of injured or missing skin, go immediately to an urgent care center or emergency room.
Watch out for infection
Fairview Health Services warns that if you experience symptoms like pain, fever, redness or swelling around your wound; a change in its color or size; or foul-smelling yellow or yellow-grain drainage, call your health care provider immediately. They may administer antibiotics, rinse the wound with an infection-fighting solution and apply ointment. If the injury caused a pocket of pus to form, they'll open it to drain the fluid.
Take these steps if you can't get immediate care
For preliminary treatment, put pressure on the wound with a piece of gauze to stop the bleeding, clean the wound with soap and water, apply antibiotic ointment and dress the wound with a non-stick bandage. Then, keep the wound clean and dry for one day, changing the dressings as needed.
Also, talk to your doctor about smartPAC by Advanced Tissue to get your prescribed wound care supplies delivered straight to your front door, setting you up with all of the tools to promote wound healing at home.