Many of Florida’s minor injuries never lead to a hospital visit. However, at this time of year, minor injuries can still hurt and ruin a holiday. Here are some tips for dealing with the most common minor injuries this summer:
1) Treat minor Florida burns without the butter. Although butter is sometimes touted as a home remedy for burns, butter can add bacteria to the affected area. Most doctors agree that if it is a minor burn, run cold water over the affected area for at least ten minutes, then use an antibiotic ointment from your pharmacy. If the burn hurts, use a cloth bandage and a dry, cold compress, like a bag of frozen vegetables. If you cannot feel the area at all or if the burn seems severe or covers a large area, visit an emergency room. You may have a more serious burn injury.
2) For nosebleeds, pinch your nose just below where your glasses sit. Hold the pinch for ten minutes and then check to see if the nosebleed has stopped. Frequent nosebleeds could be a symptom of something more serious and warrant a visit to your family doctor.
3) For cuts and scrapes, wash the area well using simple soap and water and wrap lightly with a bandage. You can also use an antibiotic cream. If the wound will not stop bleeding, you need medical attention.
4) If you have something embedded in your skin or flesh, consider before you pull it out. Something like a splinter can be safely pulled out. Larger objects such as barbs, fish hooks, nails, thorns, and anything larger needs a visit to the emergency room. As well, any metal object requires an ER visit, since you may need a tetanus shot.
5) If you sprain or twist something, check for swelling. If there is swelling, apply an ice pack or cold compress. Visit a doctor if the swelling lasts a few days or if you cannot walk. Many Florida slip and fall accidents occur during the summer months, so it makes sense to keep an ice pack or a bag of veggies in the freezer for just these sorts of emergencies.
6) If you get a bee sting, use a credit card to scrape out the stinger. Avoid squeezing the area, as this may just push more venom into the system. If you are bit by a tick, use tweezers to remove the tick from the skin. With all bug bites, watch for breathing troubles. These indicate a serious and potentially fatal allergic reaction and require a quick 911 call.