How To Safely Handle Household Accidents

by Lori Melton

Household accidents can and do occur, even when we take precautions to create a safe home environment. Check out our tips below for ways to safely deal with unexpected injuries and incidents.

Bruises

An unexpected slip and fall or a large bump can cause bruises to form at the point of impact. For non-serious incidents, you can use a cold pack or a bag of frozen vegetables to apply pressure to the area and help reduce swelling. However, if pain persists or movement is restricted in the bruised area, seek medical attention immediately as this could be a sign of a broken bone.

Sprains

Falling or just twisting a joint like your wrist or ankle can result in ligament injuries, also known as sprains. You’ll probably want to consult a doctor if this happens. However, Mayo Clinic suggests following the R.I.C.E. plan to start treatment until you can be examined by a medical professional: Rest the injured limb by using crutches to walk or wrap the area in a splint or brace. Ice the area with a cold pack or compression sleeve to reduce swelling. Compress the area with a bandage or wrap and finally, elevate the injured limb, keeping it raised above your heart as much as possible to prevent swelling.

Cuts

As with the other injuries mentioned, always seek medical attention as quickly as possible if a cut is severe. It’s possible in these cases, stitches may be required. Cuts usually cause bleeding, apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding then clean it with soap and water or hydrogen peroxide, then apply an antiseptic like Neosporin to help prevent infection. If it’s a minor scrape or injury, leave it uncovered. But, cover deeper wounds with a bandage. If it looks like the wound isn’t healing or it becomes red, swollen, warm or starts to drain it could be infected and you should see a doctor.

Burns

An unexpected burn can be very painful. For minor burns, cool the area by running it under cold water for 10-15 minutes or press a cold, wet towel on the area. Apply aloe vera to the wound and keep tight items of clothing or jewelry away from it. You can use over-the-counter pain relievers if needed. Never break a blister that’s formed over the area. As with cuts, look for signs of infection like oozing or swelling at the wound site and call your doctor if they develop.

Never immerse major burns in cold water or remove clothing stuck to the burn. Elevate the burned area if possible and seek immediate medical attention.

Head Injuries

Head injuries can potentially be very serious. If you bump your head during a fall or another type of accident, always seek medical attention in the event of a big impact. Mayo Clinic suggests seeking immediate emergency medical attention if a worsening or persistent headache exists, you experience imbalance, vomiting, memory loss or mood changes. Even with a small bump on the head, call your doctor if you have any doubts, questions or concerns. Always follow up with your doctor within one to two days if any abnormal symptoms persist.

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