Helpful First Aid Tips

Allergies or Itchy Eyes:For minor symptoms: Avoid the problem agent if possible. Take an antihistamine: Benadryl, chlorpheniramine, or Claritin. Use eye drops such as Naphcon-A for allergic conjunctivitis. Use a decongestant such as Sudafed for nasal congestion; do not use if you have high blood pressure. Apply hydrocortisone cream to bites or allergic skin rash.See your health care clinician if:Throat or chest tightness, swelling of lips or tongue — call immediately. Problem recurs frequently or doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications. Colds:For minor symptoms: Get rest and drink plenty of fluids. Take pain relievers: ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen. (do not use aspirin for children under 16) Take a decongestant such as Sudafed to relieve nasal congestion; do not use if you have high blood pressure. Take a cough suppressant such as Robitussin DM for hacking cough. See your health care clinician if: Cold or cough lingers more than one week. Fever persists for more than a few days. You have painful breathing, shortness of breath, discolored mucous, severe headache or sinus pain. Cold Sores or Fever Blisters: For minor symptoms: Apply ice for 5-10 minutes to reduce pain. Apply topical agents such as Herpecin-L® or Campho-phenique® for comfort. Use moisturizers such as Blistex® to hasten healing. Take pain relievers: ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen (do not use aspirin for children under 16) Be patient: cold sores usually go away in 7-10 days. Be cautious: cold sores may be due to herpes simplex virus and may be contagious. See your health care clinician if: Sores are excessive or do not heal. Pain prevents you from eating or drinking. You have severe or frequently recurring sores.Constipation: For minor symptoms: Increase dietary fiber and fluid intake. Take a stool softener such as Colace or fiber product as Metamucil® DO NOT use laxatives,such as Ex-Lax, regularly. Increase activity and exercise. See your health care clinician if: Condition persists for several days. You have a fever. You experience stomach cramping, bloating, rectal bleeding or nausea.Problem lasts more than three days or pain is severe. There is dislocation or misalignment. You have difficulty moving the affected area. There is black and blue discoloration.Sunburn: For minor symptoms: Avoid further exposure to the sun. Apply cool compresses to the area or take a cool bath Take pain relievers: ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen (note warning for children under 16) Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Apply aloe gel to soothe area To avoid sun-burn, wear protective clothing and sunscreen. See your health care clinician if: Burn is accompanied by fever, vomiting, drowsiness or confusion. Blisters form on large areas of the skin. Blisters break and appear infected.

Cuts and Scrapes: For minor symptoms: Wash thoroughly with soap and warm water. Stop any bleeding by applying direct pressure. Keep area clean and dry. See your health care clinician if: Wound is deep. You cut yourself on something rusty or dirty, Bleeding won’t stop. Red streak appears around wound. Wound doesn’t heal. You haven’t had a tetanus booster in 10 years.Diarrhea or Vomiting: For minor symptoms: Rest and sip clear fluids such as ginger ale, Gatorade® or broth. Eat light foods such as crackers or toast. If diarrhea persists, take Imodium A-D Avoid caffeine and alcohol. See your health care clinician if: Symptoms last more than two days. Fluids won’t stay down. You experience high fever or dizziness. There is blood in stool. You have diarrhea during the night.Headaches:For minor symptoms: Take pain relievers: ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen (do not use aspirin for children under 16) Apply hot or cold packs Avoid bright lights Take sinus medication if head/nose is congested, but do not use Sudafed if you have high blood pressure. See your health care clinician if: Headache persists or recurs. Headache follows injury or trauma. You experience fever, vomiting, drowsiness, or confusion. The headache is severe or associated with neck stiffness.Heartburn/Indigestion:For minor symptoms: Avoid spicy, acidic or other aggravating foods, and alcohol Stop smoking. Eat smaller amounts of food at one time, especially if near bedtime Take antacids, such as Maalox, or acid-suppressants such as Pepcid-AC. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen products. See your health care clinician if: Problem recurs or pain is severe. Pain occurs with shortness of breath or other symptoms that suggest heart problems.Sore Throat: For minor symptoms: Gargle with warm salt water to soothe throat. Take pain relievers: ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen (do not use aspirin for children under 16) Use throat lozenges Increase fluids. See your health care clinician if: Sore throat lasts more than a week. Fever accompanies the sore throat. You have difficulty swallowing, breathing or speaking. There are white patches on back of throat or tonsils. You have been exposed to someone diagnosed with strep throat. You have tender neck lymph nodes.Sprains or Strains: For minor symptoms: Apply ice. Rest,elevate injured area Take pain relievers: ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen. See your health care clinician if: Problem lasts more than 3 days/pain is severe; there is dislocation or misalignment or black/blue discoloration.

If you have a life or limb threatening ailment call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital Emergency Room.

 

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