I am just hitting week two of my first school summer holiday adventure and needless to say this blog is late because of the juggle! I am having the month of August off to spend time with the family and recharge my batteries myself, but in the meantime wanted to take some time to give you 5 first aid reminders for the summer holidays (if you are lucky enough to have these).
- Look out for signs of heat exhaustion in your self and family when spending lots of time outside.
I feel like there should be a disclaimer that I decided to write this blog before looking at the weather forecast but, as many people are travelling abroad over this period the advice is still important!
Heat exhaustion, put simply, is when your body gets too hot, and your internal thermometer struggles to regulate itself. It is easy to rectify with a bit of time, things like sitting in shade/under cover, taking off clothing layers, drinking water and rest can make the symptoms go away.
However, if heat exhaustion continues for more than 30 minutes it may mean you are suffering with heat stroke which is a life-threatening condition. It is therefore vital you call 999 and/or go to A&E to receive medical attention as quickly as possible.
For details on the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke check out this blog for advice: https://anderssonfirstaidtraining.co.uk/blog/the-difference-between-heat-exhaustion-and-heat-stroke/
2. Make sure you have a first aid kit with you when you head out to do activities.
If your child attends activity camps or childcare providers we expect them to always have first aid kits available, so why shouldn’t we when we go out and do fun stuff together?
Accidents happen so having a small, in date and complete first aid kit in your bag is a simple way of making sure everyone is looked after if there is a need. As an example, I keep a first aid kit in my pram when I head to the park – I have used it a couple of times on my kids and also others who’ve had scrapes.
For a full list of things to think about in your first aid kit check out my blog for advice: https://anderssonfirstaidtraining.co.uk/blog/things-to-think-about-with-your-first-aid-kit-at-home/
3. If you are going out to enjoy nature make sure you know which plants are ok to touch or ingest.
We are so lucky in this country to have such beautiful nature around us (I feel particularly blessed in Sussex living near some lovely woods, nature reserves and national trust areas). There are so many great plants to see when out walking but I am amazed how many are actually poisonous.
The one I hear the worst stories about is a plant called giant hogweed. Giant Hogweed is related (and looks like) cow parsley and can grow up to 3m tall. The reason it is so dangerous is that is contains a toxin which when rubbed on our skin is activated by light and causes symptoms similar to severe burns. Just brushing past this plant can cause the toxins t be released so it is one to be aware of as I is found most commonly this time of year.
If you are interested in learning more about poisonous plants have a look at this information from the Woodland Trust: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/blog/2020/07/uk-poisonous-plants/
4. Watch out for those pesky wasps.
This weekend I have seen loads of them and they are loving getting up close and personal. I was tennis coaching last week (something I haven’t been involved in for a while, but that is another story!) and one child had a wasp land on their lip – luckily no stinging occurred.
If you do get a sting, they will hurt but, for people who aren’t allergic there is very simple first aid you can give; wash the area with cold soapy water, put a cold compress on the area to reduce swelling and think about using antihistamines and specific sting creams to help with pain and itching.
If you want a more detailed insight in to both bee and wasp stings and what to do have a look at this blog: https://anderssonfirstaidtraining.co.uk/blog/wonderful-bees-can-still-pack-a-punch/
5. Make time for you.
My last point is a mental health first aid point and one that I think is so important. It can be really hard to juggle life, work, school holidays etc. My simple First Aid for Mental Health points for you are don’t be too hard on yourself and expect everything to be perfect and make sure you look after yourself and do some things you enjoy each day.
Spending time with children is enjoyable of course but I am meaning, eat proper meals, sleep well, have some time to yourself if this is what you enjoy, watch a movie, listen to your favourite music, run yourself a bath – whatever it is you enjoy make sure you fit this in to your schedule.
For more tips on supporting positive mental wellbeing head to this blog: https://anderssonfirstaidtraining.co.uk/blog/the-5-steps-to-positive-mental-wellbeing/
I hope these are a few handy tips/reminders for you and you enjoy the next few weeks ahead. I will be back with more hints and tips from September. In the meantime, do check out my Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn for all things first aid and first aid for mental health and email me at email@example.com if you would like to join any bookable courses or book a private course.
Have a lovely summer!