It might be a beautiful day sunny day, and a perfect day for playing out and having fun. Doing so can help you stay fit, increase your endurance, speed, and stamina. Ta da, you will be able to stay healthy and hearty and keep various health ailments at bay.
But, in the blink of an eye, this scene can change from having happy you to you crying in pain.
Every year, emergency physicians see more than 200,000 children with playground-related injuries, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Facts about Playground Injuries:
- More than half of playground-related injuries are fractures, contusions and/or abrasions.
- About 75 percent of nonfatal injuries involving playground equipment occur on public playgrounds, most of which are at schools and daycarecenters.
- The overall rate of emergency visits for playground-related traumatic brain injury has increased significantly in recent years, according to the CDC.
Emergencies can occur at any time around the playground. Regardless of the severity, the important thing is how you tackle it. First aid may focus on bleeding, shock, burns, eyes and nose injuries, animal and insect bites, fractures, sprains, strains and dislocations, poisoning, seizures, and injuries and illnesses caused by exposure to extreme temperatures. However, it is important for people to know how to handle these simple emergencies and when to seek medical attention and properly deal with these playground emergencies.
Remember to get medical help if the victim losses consciousness or experiences pain not collaborating with the nature and size of injury.
Always ensure clean hand at the time of handling the victims to prevent infections.
Falls: One can slip, lose the grip, or lose their balance while playing or exercising. You can keep a first-aid box handy which will include all your medicines and spray to help you deal with minor injuries.
Bleeding: It is usually minor in nature but can sometimes impose serious threat if a large vein or artery has been injured. Symptoms will be a wound with, or without, an embedded foreign object pain from skin surface wounds, bruising or discolouration of the skin, loss of normal function in the injured area. Use a sterile or and apply it firmly with hand pressure do not remove foreign object forcefully this might start bleeding uncontrolled. Opt for a bandage to keep the dressing in place and if possible elevate the part above level of the heart. If bleeding does not stops or is excessive get medical help.
Nose bleed: Many small and delicate blood vessels (capillaries) are in the lining of the nose. These can break and bleed easily when you fall. So, sit up and you can lean head forward slightly. Try to be quiet and calm. You must hold the nostrils tightly closed with the thumb and forefinger at the soft part of the nose just below the nasal bone, and breathe through the mouth. If bleeding doesn’t stop, wet a washcloth or hand towel with cool water. Wring it out and press firmly to the nose and cheeks. Do not blow your nose or remove crusts for several hours or blow or wipe the nose as this may cause fresh bleeding. Moreover, if the bleeding still doesn’t stop then just consult the doctor immediately.
Cuts and scrapes: Adhesive bandages are usually one of the first things included a playground first aid kit. Scrapes and cuts may frequently occur during high-energy play sessions, especially on playgrounds where there are sharp edges and wood and metal things. Hence, include a variety of bandage styles, including triangular and even tubular ones for your knees, elbows, fingers or toes. You should also set aside a bit of room in your first aid kit for gauze and rubbing alcohol, too. Keeping cuts clean, especially when they occur outdoors, is crucial for quicker healing time and preventing infections. You should include an antiseptic wash to further clean the wound, especially for cuts that are a bit deeper. An anti-bacterial cream, gel or spray should also be included to apply after the wound is clean. While a deeper cut may mean leaving the playground and consulting the doctor. A trip to the hospital for stitches, ensuring that the area is clean will help kick-start one’s healing process.
Burns, bites, stings, and allergies: Sunburns, insect stings, bug bites and even seasonal allergies are common while playing outside. Since you will be outdoors, it’s vital to consider these elements when putting together your playground first aid kit. For simple burns, you should include a topical burn ointment or spray. While there probably won’t be a fire at the playground today, metal rails and handles are exposed to the sun all day long and can become very hot. A sunny day also means the threat of sunburns; so don’t forget sunscreen for prevention , running tap water and aloe for treatment. Another topical cream to include in your playground first aid kit is one for the unfortunate event of a bug bite or sting. Bees, fire ants, mosquitoes and ticks are common at playgrounds, so safeguard yourself. For outdoor allergies, including itchy eyes and runny noses or more severe reactions, you’ll want to include moisturizer, decongestants and nasal sprays.
Any burns more than palm of victims hand should get medical help.
Heart attack: If one suffers from a heart attack on the ground then cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, especially in a heart attack or near drowning, in which someone’s breathing or heartbeat has stopped. You should learn to give CPRtechniques by training yourself from a qualified medical personal.
Broken bones: One can experience bone fracture while playing outdoors. Signs include hearing a snap upon injury, swelling, bruising, being difficult or painful to move, or pain to the touch. You can opt for an ice pack and see to it that you don’t move the limb,stabilise or visit your expert.
Sprains: One may commonly experience it on the ground. So, use the Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) method to treat sprains. Apply ice for cycles of 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Bind the ankle with an Ace bandage to protect the skin and reduce swelling. Elevate and rest the injury.
Head injuries: While many playground injuries are minor, head injuries can be serious. If you have any signs of a concussion such as a headache, disturbed speech, balance problems or unequal pupils, seek medical help. It is important to observe the victim for a day or two after head injury for signs of vomiting or reduced or loss of consciousness. Head injury can lead to long-term brain damage and even disability.
By: Dr Ajit Baviskar, Head of Emergency Department & Consultant Critical Care, Global Hospital, Mumbai