Silly Season Accidents
These accidents happen more frequently during the holiday season when we are relaxed and want to have fun. South Africa is a wonderful sunny and warm country during the December holiday season and we love our swimming pools, the sea and all the different kinds of water sports. Thus, accidents involving water are very common. Depending on the situation, which you must assess for your own safety first, only go into the water if there is no other way and approach the victim from behind. Get them to shore quickly and proceed with CPR if necessary.
We also forget to stay hydrated and cramps can strike when you least expect them, even when you are in the water. Cramps are caused by the loss of water and salt in the body but can easily be treated by stopping the physical activity, replacing the lost water and salt by drinking an Isotonic sports drink and water and eating a small packet of chips to replace the salt. Massaging the muscle that has the cramp also helps to relieve the pain.
Heat exhaustion happens when we have so much fun in the sun for such a long time that our body temperature rises to 39°C. This can be dangerous as our bodies are overheating at this stage. Symptoms are profuse sweating, irritable or aggressive behavior, headache and hot skin. Rectify this by moving the patient to a cool and shaded environment with good ventilation and:
Remove excessive clothing
Keep patient still and rested
Cool the patient with wet towels and a fan
Give something salty to eat like Simba chips and cool water to drink.
If the patient loses consciousness they must be taken to hospital immediately.
Sunburn can easily be prevented by regular application of sun block lotions readily available in shops and pharmacies. More severe sunburn requires First Aid treatment and can be serious when blisters develop, indicating the burn has reached partial thickness. After Sun lotion, should be applied generously.
All the above-mentioned situations can easily be prevented if we stay adequately hydrated and lotion applied before our activities in the sun. Hydration with alcohol does not work, it increases dehydration.
Holidays are for fun and can be more enjoyable without the annoyance of sun burn, heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Employ easy prevention measures to make your holiday unforgettable for the right reason.