See our tips for a number of common conditions you or your family might experience this summer.
Summer is the time for flip flops and fun in the sun, but the season can be blighted with minor health niggles. Here are some of the more common conditions and what you can do to stay well this summer.
1. Sprained your ankle and don’t know what to do?
You can self-care for it- apply ice, compression and take paracetamol and ibuprofen. Keep the ankle elevated and give it plenty of rest.
Alternatively if you are worried you may have done something more serious, minor injury units are a great way to get it checked over.
2. Hay fever got you sneezing?
The pharmacy can help. Antihistamine, nasal spray, eye drops. Everything you need they’ll have in stock. .
3. Your child has banged their head?
Sit them down, keep them calm and apply a cold compress to the affected area (frozen peas in a tea towel are good).
Keep an eye out for unconsciousness, repeated vomiting, fits or seizures, problems with senses such as double vision or hearing loss, blood or clear liquid coming from the ears or nose, and memory loss, as any of these may mean a more serious injury. If any of these occur, proceed straight to A&E.
4. Cut or burned yourself?
Minor cuts need to be washed with clean water. If there is any bleeding stop it before applying a plaster or dressing. If the bleeding can’t be controlled, or is coming in spurts (this might mean you’ve cut an artery) you should seek immediate medical assistance.
If you think the wound is infected or at risk of becoming infected, see your GP, particularly if it is a wound to the palm of the hand as infection can spread more quickly from here.
Burns should be put under cool or lukewarm water (never ice water) and remove any clothing or jewellery close to the burn. Do not remove anything that is stuck to it. Wrap it in clean cling film or a plastic bag to protect it.
If a burn is bigger than your hand, is deep, causes charred or white skin, causes blisters or is chemical or electrical, you should seek immediate medical attention.
5. Insect bites and stings?
Apply antiseptic to the area, apply something cool and take paracetamol or ibuprofen if it is particularly painful. For itching – ask your pharmacist about over-the-counter treatments, including crotamiton cream or lotion, hydrocortisone cream or ointment and antihistamine tablets.
Signs of infection such as pus, swollen glands or flu like symptoms, or you have signs of an allergy such as redness or swelling that is spreading you should seek assistance from your GP.
If you have difficulty breathing or swallowing, rapid or severe swelling to the face, mouth or throat; dizziness, fainting, nausea or vomiting you should call 999 or proceed straight to A&E.
It’s always useful to keep a well-stocked first aid kit to hand for any minor injuries, with plasters, dressings, a crepe bandage, safety pins and some antiseptic cream. This should also include sting/bite cream and antihistamine, scissors, painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen and sterile gloves.
Remember if you do need to see your GP, you can book online by signing up to GP Online Services. Take two forms of ID into your surgery and sign up there and then!
For more information visit www.nhs.uk