|Accidents in chidren|
Foreign Bodies : Foreign bodies sometimes become lodged in the nose. In such cases it is sometimes possible to dislodge them by closing one nostril and having the child make an effort to blow the foreign body out. If this cannot be done and the object is not within easy reach, no attempt should be made to remove it by unskilled hands. Serious harm may be done to the sensitive mucous membrane, and even with proper instruments it is not always easy to remove a foreign body without doing harm.
Ear : When such bodies become lodged in the ear, or, as sometimes happens, insects fly into the ear, an attempt may be made to remove them by allowing a few drops of warm sweet oil to pass into the ear. It is not wise to put water into the ear, as such articles as peas, beans, etc., swell when wet and cause great pain and difficulty in removing them.
Eye : Particles of dust in the eye may be removed if careful search is made for them in a light. They are most likely to lodge under the upper lid, and it is necessary to evert the lid in order to find them. This is done by taking the lashes of the upper lid between the thumb and finger, and, with some firm object like a pencil, pressure is made downwards about the middle part of the upper lid. If pressure is made in the right direction, the lid will turn easily, the particle may be seen and wiped off with a soft cloth. Where the eye has become inflamed from a foreign body, cold compresses should be applied and changed frequently.
Stomach : If the child has swallowed a foreign body, it is well to pass the finger immediately into the throat and see if the object can be felt, and if possible remove it. The child may be held with the head hanging down and in this position, the coughing of the child will frequently loosen the object so that it can be reached. Objects that pass into the stomach need cause very little apprehension. They rarely do harm. Large quantities of bread or other starchy foods should be taken and as little water as possible. Cathartics should never be given. The stools should be searched carefully for the swallowed object.
Wounds and Contusions : Cuts and lacerations in which the skin is broken, if not extensive, may be cared for at home. The wound should be thoroughly cleansed by holding it under running hot water, or immersing the hand or injured part in a basin of water as hot as can be borne. It is wise to have small packages of sterile gauze and sterile bandages in the house for such emergencies. These can be procured at any drug store and the wrappings should not be removed until the dressing is used. The best local application for such wounds is homoeopathic tincture of Calendula (one part Calendula to four parts of water). A small piece of gauze is dipped into this solution and placed over the wound, covered with cotton and bandaged.
Where there is arterial bleeding, which may be recognized by the fact that the blood comes in spurts, a handkerchief should be twisted into a cord and tied tightly about the part between the wound and the heart. If sufficient pressure cannot be made in this way, a tourniquet may be improvised by passing a stick through the handkerchief and twisting it. Bleeding from the veins is not usually dangerous. It is oozing in character rather than spurting. Elevating the injured part and a tight bandage will usually control venous bleeding.
Simple contusions where the skin is not broken should be treated immediately with cold water. If the part is held under the cold water faucet or in a basin of cold water for half an hour immediately after the injury is received it will greatly lessen the subsequent pain. The best treatment for such wounds is the local application of compresses of Arnica tincture (one part Arnica to four parts of warm water). Cotton placed over the compress will prevent it from evaporating.
Burns and Scalds : Burns in which there is a large area of the skin involved are serious and must receive immediate internal and external treatment. Mild burns are best treated by covering immediately with compresses soaked in a saturated solution of Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda). If blisters have formed they should first be pricked with a needle which has been held in the flame, but on no account should the white skin covering the surface of the blisters be removed. For a later dressing after the intense pain has subsided, Boric acid vaseline (10 per cent.) should be used. This should be smeared on a small piece of sterile gauze and laid over the burn, covered with cotton and bandaged.
Burns should be dressed immediately. Even if the desired materials are not at hand, the burn should be covered with a clean piece of gauze or linen and wrapped up so as to exclude the air, until a suitable dressing can be applied.
Fractures : Fractures should receive the attention of a physician as early as possible. If there is any doubt about the nature of the injury, and it is desirable to investigate, the clothing should be removed from the injured part by ripping. No attempt should be made to remove the clothing in the ordinary way. If it is necessary to move a child with a fractured limb, a temporary dressing may be made from a pillow. The arm or leg is placed lengthwise on a pillow and straps or strings passed around the pillow and limb so that the part rests comfortably. In moving, the pillow and limb must be carefully supported and jolting and jarring avoided.
Injuries to the head are most dangerous and sometimes cause serious injury to the brain, even when the scalp is not broken.
Poisoning : If the child has taken a poisonous substance it is necessary to cause vomiting as soon as possible. This may sometimes be accomplished by tickling the child’s throat with the finger or by having the child take two or three glasses of luke warm water, to which has been added either a little mustard or oil of some sort (sweet oil, lard or vaseline). If none of these is at hand, common salt may be added to the water.
The best general antidote to be given before a physician arrives is milk. As much as possible should be taken. The white of egg in water is also a serviceable antidote for many poisons. It may be given in addition to the milk and should be used in about the proportion of the white of four eggs to a quart of water. Usually these methods of treatment are sufficient until a physician arrives, and the stomach is washed out by means of a stomach tube and the proper antidotes given.