First Aid & Safety

Preparedness is always the best tool to use in case of an emergency. Even people who are not medical professionals have the ability to save lives and prevent injury, given the right knowledge and training. First aid, as the name implies, is the immediate assistance given to an injured person or a victim after an accident. This is usually done to alleviate pain and suffering on the part of the victim in case professional help has not arrived at the scene.

First aid is defined as the initial treatment immediately preceding the injury, and involves basic procedures such as removing debris from injury, bandaging, massaging, drinking fluids in case of excessive heat, cleaning cuts and scrapes. All of these require little training, and everyone can learn how to do it.

First aid and safety are basic knowledge that is discussed as part of the health curriculum in many schools. At a young age, children are already taught the right safety precautions to take in case of emergency, or whenever they are doing everyday activities at school and play or at home. First aid covers a wide range of topics, each specifically giving instruction on how to treat a type of injury, and what are the proper measures to take while waiting for help to arrive.

For example, consider a scene where a person lies unconscious on the ground, and several people are gathering to know what’s going on. As the person who will be administering first aid, the first thing to do identify yourself as trained for dealing with the situation, then check if the area is safe and no other signs of danger are present. Next is to ask a person in the crowd to go to a telephone and call for help. At the same time, tell the crowd to keep their distance so as not to alleviate any condition of the victim.

Once you approach the victim, whether he can hear you or not, identify yourself as the one who will be giving him first aid. Check for pulse and breathing. Check for signs of bleeding, open wounds, and the like. Do not move the body until you have assessed if he has any internal injury. This can be done by gently pressing on the bones or feeling any tenderness. Once sure of this, try to place the person on his back, with arms on the side, and legs straight.

If the patient is not breathing, check if there is an obstruction in his air passage, or you might have to administer mouth to mouth resuscitation. If there is not breathing or pulse, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is needed. There are specific procedures for doing this, and only persons officially licensed to perform first aid can do it, as inexperienced persons may cause further injury. Try to keep the victim comfortable and warm. Stay with the victim until help arrives.

First aid and safety is the first thing that people think about when pondering children. Children are famous for their accidents and injuries, and unfortunately, some die because of them. Learning basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is essential for parents of children of all ages, as well as for individuals who have no children. Along with learning CPR, many instructors will demonstrate safety techniques and injury assessment along with other life-saving tips.

Depending on where you live, first aid training is available to the community, to the workplace, as well as professional rescuers who would like to add to their skills. There is basic adult CPR, as well as infant and child CPR, emergency aid, baby-sitting training and more.

Safety is so important, especially workplace safety. In the year 2006, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario, Canada reported that 101 people died from work-related traumatic injuries and occupational diseases. So last year, 101 families were destroyed just because someone was trying to make a living. Most of the work-related deaths happened in construction and roads field. Safety is very important in these high-risk job fields, and safety and first aid training must be a monthly or bi-monthly occurrence.

Drowning happen every year, and much of it could be prevented. Some parents unfortunately don’t take the proper precautions in setting up safety apparatuses around the house and outside, and the children suffer for it. Not just drowning, falling down the stairs, electrocution by putting fingers in sockets, burns, swallowing of poisonous liquids, all of these require safety precautions. Children rely and depend upon parents or caregivers to keep them safe from harm, and as such, all childcare givers and parents and guardians should receive basic first aid and safety training as a prerequisite before caring for children. New parents should receive training prior to a baby’s birth, and then a refresher 6 weeks later when the child is already born.

Putting a fence around a swimming pool is essential when there are little children around who don’t know how to swim yet, is one prime safety tip. Another is putting up a gate at the top of the stairs to keep babies and toddlers from falling down the steps. Socket covers for the plug sockets to keep tiny prying fingers away from the holes. The curiosity of the child is wide-ranging and strong, so a good parent will know almost everything that the child might want to get into. Having a first aid kit is definitely handy as you have everything you need in case your little one gets hurt, if it’s treatable at home. A smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector is also essential in any home. Carbon monoxide is deadly because one usually doesn’t notice a carbon monoxide leak until it’s too late.

The world has many dangers, but through education and training of first aid and safety practices, this world can be a much safer place for children and adults.

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