The great kiwi summer safety guide

Here is the essential know-how to help keep you and your family safe this summer.

sunburn

Signs and symptoms: redness, swelling, tenderness, pain and hot skin.
What to do?  Cool the skin – a cool bath will help. Relief can also be achieved with painkillers, aloe vera lotions and after-sun moisturisers. Seek medical advice if there is extensive blistering, chills and fever.

heat stroke or sun stroke

Signs: headache; hot, flushed and dry skin; above normal body temperature; seizures and blurred vision; unconsciousness.
What to do? If heat stroke is suspected, dial 111 for an ambulance. Rest in a cool place in a side position. Keep child cool by spraying with water or using ice packs.

heat rash, Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, is triggered through being overdressed or too hot.

Signs: Prickling or stinging sensation, feeling itchy. Inflamed sweat ducts look like small bumps with a red halo, grouped together under your child’s clothing and inside folds of skin.
What to do? Heat rash usually goes away in a few days. Wear light clothing, apply soothing calamine lotion and compresses with cool water.

jellyfish stings

Signs and symptoms: Jellyfish stings can be painful and extensive stinging may lead to nausea, vomiting, headache, chills, drowsiness and breathing difficulties.
What to do? Avoid rubbing the affected area.  Flush with sea water to help remove any tentacles. A hot shower is the best treatment.
Should I consult a doctor? Yes, if additional pain relief is required. Call 111 for an ambulance if symptoms are severe.

spider bites

Signs: Pain, redness, swelling, and itchiness and, less commonly, nausea, vomiting, malaise, and headache.
What to do? Identify your spider! The venom of spider bites is variable. Wash the affected area thoroughly, apply an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling, use simple analgesia and/or antihistamines.
See a doctor if the bite area becomes very red or painful, blisters, appears infected, or forms an ulcer. If you suspect you have been bitten by a katipo or redback spider, seek urgent medical attention.

wasp/bee stings

What to do? If the reaction is mild, insect stings should be treated by first removing the stinger. Scrape it off using a ruler or piece of paper to limit venom injection. Wash the area well. Reduce swelling and pain with an ice pack. Any stings to the eye, mouth, throat, face, neck or genitalia should be medically assessed. If the person is allergic, dial 111 for an ambulance.

natural remedies

oatmeal

Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, which can soothe not only sunburn, but bug bites, rashes, and even chickenpox. First, you need to crush the oatmeal up so it’ll dissolve in water. Grind 1 cup of unflavoured oatmeal (either instant or slow cooking) until it has a smooth, fine consistency, then pour into your bath. Gently pat all over sore skin, and rinse off thoroughly. You can also buy colloidal oatmeal (already ground into a very fine powder) at your local healthshop or chemist.

manuka honey

If your child scrapes her knee riding her bike, dab on some manuka honey to speed healing  and prevent infection, as it’s a natural antimicrobial. Research has found that manuka honey    can also interfere with the growth of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a type of bacteria highly resistant to commonly-prescribed antibiotics.

 

 

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