It might be a beautiful day sunny day,
and a perfect day for playing out and having fun. Doing so can help you
stay fit, increase your endurance, speed, and stamina. Ta da, you will be able
to stay healthy and hearty and keep various health ailments at bay.
But, in the blink of an eye, this scene
can change from having happy you to you crying in pain.
Every year, emergency physicians see
more than 200,000 children with playground-related injuries, according to the Centres
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Facts about Playground Injuries:
More than half of playground-related injuries are fractures, contusions and/or abrasions.
About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries involving playground equipment occur on public playgrounds, most of which are at schools and day care centers.
The overall rate of emergency visits for playground-related traumatic brain injury has increased significantly in recent years, according to the CDC.
Emergencies can occur at any time
around the playground. Regardless of the severity, the important thing is how
you tackle it. First aid may focus on bleeding, shock, burns, eyes and nose
injuries, animal and insect bites, fractures, sprains, strains and
dislocations, poisoning, seizures, and injuries and illnesses caused by
exposure to extreme temperatures. However, it is important for people to know
how to handle these simple emergencies and when to seek medical attention and
properly deal with these playground emergencies.
Remember to get medical help if the
victim losses consciousness or experiences pain not collaborating with the
nature and size of injury.
Always ensure clean hand at the time of
handling the victims to prevent infections.
Falls: One can slip, lose the
grip, or lose their balance while playing or exercising. You can keep a
first-aid box handy which will include all your medicines and spray to help you
deal with minor injuries.
Bleeding: It is usually minor in
nature but can sometimes impose serious threat if a large vein or artery has
been injured. Symptoms will be a wound with, or without, an embedded foreign
object pain from skin surface wounds, bruising or discolouration of the skin,
loss of normal function in the injured area. Use a sterile or and apply it
firmly with hand pressure do not remove foreign object forcefully this might
start bleeding uncontrolled. Opt for a bandage to keep the dressing in place
and if possible elevate the part above level of the heart. If bleeding does not
stops or is excessive get medical help.
Nose bleed: Many small and delicate
blood vessels (capillaries) are in the lining of the nose. These can break and
bleed easily when you fall. So, sit up and you can lean head forward slightly.
Try to be quiet and calm. You must hold the nostrils tightly closed with the
thumb and forefinger at the soft part of the nose just below the nasal bone,
and breathe through the mouth. If bleeding doesn’t stop, wet a washcloth or
hand towel with cool water. Wring it out and press firmly to the nose and
cheeks. Do not blow your nose or remove crusts for several hours or blow or
wipe the nose as this may cause fresh bleeding. Moreover, if the bleeding still
doesn’t stop then just consult the doctor immediately.
Cuts and scrapes: Adhesive
bandages are usually one of the first things included a playground first aid
kit. Scrapes and cuts may frequently occur during high-energy play sessions,
especially on playgrounds where there are sharp edges and wood and metal
things. Hence, include a variety of bandage styles, including triangular and
even tubular ones for your knees, elbows, fingers or toes. You should also set
aside a bit of room in your first aid kit for gauze and rubbing alcohol, too.
Keeping cuts clean, especially when they occur outdoors, is crucial for quicker
healing time and preventing infections. You should include an antiseptic wash
to further clean the wound, especially for cuts that are a bit deeper. An
anti-bacterial cream, gel or spray should also be included to apply after the
wound is clean. While a deeper cut may mean leaving the playground and
consulting the doctor. A trip to the hospital for stitches, ensuring that the
area is clean will help kick-start one’s healing process.
Burns, bites, stings, and allergies: Sunburns,
insect stings, bug bites and even seasonal allergies are common while playing
outside. Since you will be outdoors, it’s vital to consider these elements when
putting together your playground first aid kit. For simple burns, you should
include a topical burn ointment or spray. While there probably won’t be a fire
at the playground today, metal rails and handles are exposed to the sun all day
long and can become very hot. A sunny day also means the threat of sunburns; so
don’t forget sunscreen for prevention , running tap water and aloe for
treatment. Another topical cream to include in your playground first aid kit is
one for the unfortunate event of a bug bite or sting. Bees, fire ants,
mosquitoes and ticks are common at playgrounds, so safeguard yourself. For
outdoor allergies, including itchy eyes and runny noses or more severe
reactions, you’ll want to include moisturizer, decongestants and nasal sprays.
Any burns more than palm of victims hand
should get medical help.
Heart attack: If one suffers from a heart attack on the ground then cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, especially in a heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. You should learn to give CPR techniques by training yourself from a qualified medical person.
Broken bones: One
can experience bone fracture while playing outdoors. Signs include hearing a
snap upon injury, swelling, bruising, being difficult or painful to move, or
pain to the touch. You can opt for an ice pack and see to it that you don’t
move the limb,stabilise or visit your
Sprains: One may commonly
experience it on the ground. So, use the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation
(RICE) method to treat sprains. Apply ice for cycles of 20 minutes on, 20
minutes off. Bind the ankle with an Ace bandage to protect the skin and reduce
swelling. Elevate and rest the injury.
Head injuries: While many playground injuries are minor, head injuries can be serious. If you have any signs of a concussion such as a headache, disturbed speech, balance problems or unequal pupils, seek medical help. It is important to observe the victim for a day or two after head injury for signs of vomiting or reduced or loss of consciousness. Head injury can lead to long-term brain damage and even disability. By Dr Ajit Baviskar, Head of Emergency Department & Consultant Critical Care, Global Hospital, Mumbai