You trip over your dog’s toy in the hallway. Your kid gets clobbered in the head by a baseball. It’s life – and accidents happen. So, here’s what to do when one strikes, courtesy of Real Simple magazine.
- A sprained ankle. Sprains happen when the ligaments surrounding a joint are pulled beyond their normal range. They’re often accompanied by bruising and swelling. When it happens, you should apply and remove ice in 20-minute increments throughout the day. Stay off it for the first 24 hours! After that, apply heat. This’ll get the blood flowing normally. DO NOT try to “work” through the pain. The chief operating officer for the San Francisco Paramedic Association says, you risk doing more serious damage if you move around on the sprain, like actually tearing the ligament. If the injury doesn’t get better after a few days – see a doctor. You might have a fracture.
- Choking. The magazine says TRUE choking is rare. When a person is really choking, they can’t cough strongly, speak or breathe – and their face might turn red or blue. If you think someone’s choking – call 911 fast. Have the person lean forward and, using the palm of your hand, hit them on the back 5 times - between the shoulder blades. Hopefully that’ll dislodge the item from their throat. If it doesn’t, go for the Heimlich. Stand behind them, place one fist above their belly button and cup it with your other fist. Push in and up toward the ribs 5 times. If you’re alone, press your abdomen against something firm, like a kitchen counter. And NEVER give a person who’s choking anything to drink.
- A blow to the head. If the victim is bleeding just a little, treat the wound like any other cut – but follow-up with a doctor to rule out internal injuries. Also, do NOT leave someone with a head injury alone – especially when they’re sleeping. Wake them every 3 to 4 hours and have them answer simple questions to make sure there’s no brain injury, such as a concussion. Of course, if a blow to the head leaves a person unconscious, or if they’re having seizures, dizziness, vomiting or nausea - call 911.