Keeping children confined to the four walls of their home will inevitably make them restless. They may start whizzing about the house, knocking over hot drinks and bumping into furniture (or grandparents). These are undesirable scenarios, but accidents do happen! Columbia Asia regional emergency services coordinator and Consultant emergency physician, Dr Sharonpal Singh, shares emergency measures in the event of a household accident.
A typical household will have multiple heat sources such as electric irons, hairdryers, electric kettles and of course, the kitchen stove. In the case of a burn, whether it comes from an open flame or hot metal, cool the burnt area under running water. You can use a cool compress to relieve the pain. Remove clothing and constricting items, such as rings or bracelets, from the affected area before swelling sets in. Blisters will develop but do not burst them! They are meant to protect the skin from infection.
If they break by accident, clean the area with mild soap and water. Apply some burn ointment. Do not apply medicated oil, anti-allergy creams or fragranced lotions, and certainly not toothpaste! To provide moisture and relief, you can apply petroleum-based ointment three times a day. Then loosely wrap the burnt area with sterile non-adhesive gauze before seeking medical attention.
Falls and slips can happen anywhere in the house, from staircases to bathrooms to kitchens. If this happens and the person is responsive, gently move him/her to a safe area. Find out how the fall occurred and if he/she feels any pain. Look for bruises, bumps or any other signs of injury and apply a cold compress over it. If the injury is to the head and the person remains responsive, monitor him/her over 24 hours.
Look out for headaches, vomiting, blurring of vision, weakness, new seizures, drowsiness, and blood or fluid leaking from the nose or ear. If you note any of these symptoms, call 999. In the meantime, do not move him or her until the ambulance arrives. This also applies if the patient is unresponsive immediately after the fall.