by MarshaneilSoumi D’ Rozario | 18th July, 2019
Emergencies can occur at any time around the playground. Regardless of the severity, the important thing is how you tackle it. First aid may focus on bleeding, shock, burns; eye and nose injuries, animal and insect bites, fractures, sprains, strains and dislocations; poisoning, seizures, and injuries and illnesses caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. However, it is important for people to know how to handle these simple emergencies and when to seek medical attention and properly deal with these playground emergencies. Dr. AjitBaviskar, Head of Emergency Department & Consultant Critical Care, Global Hospital, Mumbai,talks extensively about these emergencies and ways to tackle them.
1. Falls: One can slip, lose their grip, or lose their balance while playing or exercising.
Precautions: Keep a first-aid box handy, which should include all your medicines and sprays, etc., to help you deal with minor injuries.
2. Bleeding: It is usually minor in nature but can sometimes pose a serious threat if a large vein or artery has been injured.
First aid: Apply firm hand pressure. Do not remove foreign objects forcefully as this might start uncontrolled bleeding. Opt for a bandage to keep the dressing in place, and if possible elevate the affected part above the level of the heart. If bleeding does not stop or is excessive get medical help.
3. Nose bleed: Many small and delicate blood vessels (capillaries) are in the lining of the nose. These can break and bleed easily when you fall.
First Aid: Sit up and lean head forward slightly. Try to be quiet and calm. You must hold the nostrils tightly closed with the thumb and forefinger at the soft part of the nose just below the nasal bone, and breathe through the mouth. If bleeding doesn’t stop, wet a washcloth or hand towel with cool water. Wring it out and press firmly to the nose and cheeks. Do not blow your nose or remove crusts for several hours, or blow or wipe the nose, as this may cause fresh bleeding. Moreover, if the bleeding still doesn’t stop then consult a doctor immediately.
4. Cuts and scrapes: Scrapes and cuts may frequently occur during high-energy play sessions, especially on playgrounds where there are sharp edges and wood and metal things.
Precautions: Adhesive bandages are usually one of the first things included in a playground first aid kit. It should have gauze and rubbing alcohol. An anti-bacterial cream, gel or spray should also be included to apply after the wound is clean. A deeper cut may mean leaving the playground and consulting the doctor.
5. Burns, bites, stings, and allergies: Sunburns, insect stings, bug bites and even seasonal allergies are common while playing outside.
Precautions:For simple burns, you should include a topical burn ointment or spray. A sunny day also means the threat of sunburns; so don’t forget sunscreen for prevention, running tap water and aloe for treatment. Bees, fire ants, mosquitoes and ticks are common at playgrounds, so safeguard yourself. For outdoor allergies, including itchy eyes and runny noses or more severe reactions, you’ll want to include moisturizer, decongestants and nasal sprays.
6.Heart attack: If one suffers from a heart attack on the ground then Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, especially in a heart attack or near drowning, in which someone's breathing or heartbeat has stopped.
First Aid:You should learn to give CPR by training under a qualified medical professional. However, it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
7. Broken bones: One can experience bone fracture while playing outdoors.
First Aid:You can opt for an ice pack,ensure that you don’t move the affected limb, and visit your doctor at the earliest.
8. Sprains: One may commonly experience these on the playground.
First Aid: Use the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) method to treat sprains. Apply ice for cycles of 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Bind the ankle with an Ace bandage to protect the skin and reduce swelling. Elevate and rest the injury.
9. Head injuries: While many playground injuries are minor, head injuries can be serious.
First Aid: If you have any signs of a concussion such as a headache, disturbed speech, balance problems or unequal pupils, seek medical help. It is important to observe the victim for a day or two after head injury for signs of vomiting or reduced/loss of consciousness. Head injury can lead to long-term brain damage and even disability.
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