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Thursday, March 23, 2006

First aid for schools

Student injuries occur during recess, team sports and field trips and first aid must be provided to prevent minor injuries from becoming major ones. Schools may have medical specialists to treat the most serious injuries, but all school employees should be able to provide routine first aid if they encounter an injured student.

The first responder to an incident should survey the scene to prevent additional accidents, call for help if needed and then administer care to the victim.

Among the injuries school personnel may be required to treat are:

* Head, neck and back injuries – immobilize the victim to assess the damage
* Choking – perform the Heimlich maneuver, if capable
* Broken bones – keep the victim still and relaxed, holding the injury in the most comfortable position
* Cuts – put on disposable gloves to avoid infected blood and place a thick, sterile gauze pad on the wound
* Human bites – wash the wound with soap and warm water, apply a mild antiseptic and cold compress
* Chemical burns – flush affected area with cool water for 15 minutes
* Eye injuries – apply sterile gauze to the cut, but never apply direct pressure to stop bleeding near the eye
* Bee sting – scrape out the stinger with a stiff piece of material
* Nose bleeds – have the student hold a tissue under each nostril to catch blood and place a cold compress on the bridge of the nose to reduce swelling
* Dental injuries – if the student has lost a tooth, fold clean gauze over the bleeding area, rinse the tooth in cold water and save it in a cup
* Muscle and joint injuries – wrap an elastic bandage around the injury and apply a cold pack