Sunday, May 04, 2008

Safety Check

With May upon us and all the kiddos out and about riding bikes and roller blading, Da Dough kids wrote a great post with tips on how your kids should be wearing a bike helmet. Unfortunately one of the kids in her house took a nasty fall; although the helmet she was wearing saved her from some more serious injuries.

Jake has suffered numerous spills in his lifetime, one requiring a trip to the ER, and another to the dentist; both for stitches. It seems that whenever he actually has hurt himself, he always has landed on his face. He never did lose any teeth, but it certainly hasn't been for lack of trying!

Having worked with lots of kids and been a school first aid attendant for a few years, I've seen my fair share of ice packs and scrapes......and picked up a few tips along the way!

-make sure that bikes are in good working order. Check the brakes, the chain, and even that the handle bars are completely covered with padding. I know a child who fell off their bike, only to have the exposed metal end of a handlebar impale them in the stomach. I had no idea that could happen, but it did, and when the child told me the story I immediately went home and checked Jake's bike.

-speaking of helmets, make sure kids are wearing safety gear when biking, roller blading, riding a scooter, or skateboarding. This includes not just a helmet, but wrist and knee guards as well. At Jake's age some of his friends scoff at the fact that he wears a helmet, but he knows that if he doesn't, I'll confiscate his bike. Not just that, but *I* wear a helmet, even though I grew up never wearing one and detest them.

-when kids are really bleeding, if you can, grab a dark colored washcloth to clamp over it instead of a white one. They won't see the blood and panic. We all know kids freak out at the sight of their blood leaking out. Heck, some adults do too.

-distraction is good. It keeps them from panicking. I learned to talk to them calmly, asking about all sorts of different things. Pets. Tv Shows. Their favorite type of ice cream. I'd explain things, like "heads like to bleed a lot, but you know, it's okay because your body makes these awesome things called clots....." etc.

-keep emergency numbers by the phone (or program them into your cell phone)

-keep a well stocked first aid kit

-a bag of frozen peas or corn make a great ice pack, because they mold themselves around the body part. If the kid is not too badly hurt, he may even eat them for a snack-Jake did!

-a popsicle/freezie is a nice way to soothe a busted lip or sore gums, and it's yummy too.

-a Q-tip dipped in clove oil and rubbed on the gums will numb the area

-best idea yet...take a first aid course. It's worth it. Or to brush up, go read some tips here.

You'll never know when you might need more then a band aid, but it's best to be prepared!

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