First Aid: Test Your Safety Smarts
June is National Safety Month, so let’s see how prepared you and your family are for summertime injuries. From treating jellyfish stings to knowing how to give CPR, what would you do in these situations?
If you get stung by a jellyfish at the beach, you should remove the tentacle and:
- Wash with soap and fresh water
- Sterilize with alcohol
- Wash with a saline and vinegar solution
- Apply petroleum jelly
3: After removing the tentacle, ask the nearest lifeguard to treat the sting. They should have a solution of saline and vinegar on hand that will relieve the pain. Safety experts recommend always swimming or surfing near an open lifeguard tower. If there are signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as shortness of breath or hives, seek immediate medical attention.
If you sprain a muscle in your arm or leg you should rest, elevate your limb, wrap the injury and:
- Apply heat
- Apply ice
- Alternate heat and ice
- Stretch the muscle
2. Use an ice pack for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. The best treatment for strains and sprains is RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Heat exhaustion, which can develop after several days of high temperatures, can cause weakness, fatigue, heavy sweating, paleness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or fainting. If you notice these symptoms, you should:
- Take a cool shower or bath
- Put on lightweight clothing and rest in air conditioning
- Call 911 or go to the emergency room if symptoms do not improve
- All of the above
4. If attempts to cool off aren’t successful, seek medical attention. If heat exhaustion isn’t managed properly, it can lead to heat stroke, a medical emergency.
Southern California hiking trails can be lined with poison oak. To self-treat a rash and relieve itching, you should:
- Rinse your skin with hot water, apply petroleum jelly and use warm compresses
- Scrub your skin with baking soda, apply moisturizer and use warm compresses
- Rinse your skin with lukewarm water, apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream and use cool compresses
- Scrub your skin with hot water, apply calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream and use cool compresses
3. But be sure to go to an emergency room if you experience swelling, trouble breathing or swallowing, or a rash covering most of your body.
With all the time you may spend swimming this summer, knowing CPR can be a lifesaver. The American Heart Association recommends CPR with chest compressions and rescue breaths for drowning victims. How many rescue breaths should you give adults and children after each cycle of chest compressions?
The American Heart Association recommends hands-only CPR for teens and adults who suddenly collapse from cardiac arrest. After calling 911, you need to push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of a song that is:
- 100 to 120 beats per minute
- 90 to 100 beats per minute
- 80 to 90 beats per minute
- 70 to 90 beats per minute
1. Examples of songs that are 100 to 120 beats per minute are “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees and “Crazy in Love” by Beyonce, according to the AHA, which says people are more confident performing hands-only CPR and are more likely to remember the correct rate when trained to the beat of a familiar song.
In an emergency, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency department. Want to learn more? You can test your knowledge with this UCLA Health First Aid/Emergency Quiz.